It will be all change for Chelsea Football Club in the 2024/25 campaign. They have a new manager, the former Leicester City boss Enzo Maresca, who won the Championship this season with the Foxes....READ THE FULL ARTICLE FROM THE SOURCE

Maresca will have European football to contend with next term, after Chelsea finished sixth in the Premier League, largely thanks to a good run of form at the end of the campaign under the departing Mauricio Pochettino.

The west Londoners did qualify for the Europa League originally, but now find themselves in the Europa Conference League after Manchester United’s FA Cup victory.

Undoubtedly, Maresca will be dipping into the transfer market as he looks to strengthen his Chelsea side ahead of his first season as a Premier League manager. The suggestion at present is that the club could be closing on the Italian’s first signing, in the form of Tosin Adarabioyo.

However, there is one other Premier League star the Blues have been linked with this week, whom they could move for in the summer window.

Chelsea looking to sign Premier League defender

The player in question here is Bournemouth and Hungary left-back Milos Kerkez. The 20-year-old has had an impressive season with the Cherries and is now thought to be on the shopping list of top-flight clubs this summer, including Chelsea’s.

This is the case if a report from Ben Jacobs is to be believed, an exclusive story which he shared on the YouTube fan channel, The United Stand. Jacobs revealed that Chelsea are “interested” in acquiring the services of the Hungarian international this summer.

However, given the report was made on a United fan channel, it does also make sense for the Red Devils to also be interested in signing Kerkez this summer, something that Jacobs confirms in the video. He explains that Kerkez is a “name internally discussed” at Old Trafford and that they are “impressed” with his growth, viewing him as a future starter.

Whilst a price for Kerkez is yet to be clarified, the left-back is valued at just £26m, according to CIES Football Observatory. This is as much as current Chelsea left-back Marc Cucurella, who has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge this summer, as per a report from GiveMeSport.

Why Kerkez would be a good signing

Kerkez has become a key player under Spanish manager Andoni Iraola this season for Bournemouth. He has played 28 times for the South Coast side in the Premier League, registering one assist, against Aston Villa at the Vitality Stadium.

He is an all-action fullback, who can contribute well in the final third and works hard defensively. Football Talent Scout Jacek Kulig described Kerkez as a “high-quality attacking full-back” in October 2022.

In his final season in 2022/23 for AZ Alkmaar in all competitions, Kerkez played 52 games, scoring five times and registering seven assists, highlighting his attacking prowess.

This term in the black and red of Bournemouth, his defensive nous has been showcased much more. As per FBref, Kerkez tackles 71.4% of dribblers, which places him in the top 5% of full-backs in Europe. He also averaged 2.74 clearances per 90 minutes, and 1.42 tackles won in the defensive third. He is not one to shy away from a challenge if the situation arises.

The signing of Kerkez would allow Chelsea centre-back Levi Colwill to move back into his natural position at the heart of the Blues’ defence. Whilst injuries have affected the 21-year-old’s season, Colwill played 32 games, but only 15 of those came in his natural position, with the other 17 coming at left-back.

Maresca could then utilise Colwill’s ball-playing ability at centre-back. The former Brighton and Hove Albion loanee is a confident ball-carrier, and, as per FBref, averages 1.15 progressive carries per 90, ranking him in the top 14%. He also averages 3.66 progressive passes per 90, showing his impressive ability in possession.

Kerkez joining Chelsea would help balance Maresca’s side, allowing the new boss to be able to play Colwill at centre-back once agin. It would also add great depth and healthy competition at left-back, with Ben Chilwell naturally having to work harder to keep his place in the side.

It is certainly a signing that would help get Maresca’s first transfer window off to a strong start….CONTINUE READING THE FULL ARTICLE>>>

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