Chelsea are desperate to add fresh blood to their ranks this summer and bolster their chances of competing for the Premier League title during the 2021/22 campaign.
Chelsea’s hopes of signing Inter Milan right wing-back Achraf Hakimi this summer appear to be dead and buried after reports in Italy yesterday claimed that the Blues had called time on their pursuit of the Morocco international.
Desperate to strengthen the right side of their defence this summer, the Blues, who will face Crystal Palace on the opening day of the 2021/22 Premier League season, earmarked Hakimi as a suitable candidate to challenge Reece James for the role at Stamford Bridge next term.
However, after more than a fortnight of speculation about transfer fees and ways that the Blues could fund a deal for his signature, French giants Paris Saint-Germain are poised to win this particular transfer battle. The former Real Madrid man has reportedly agreed personal terms on a five year deal with the French giants, with only the transfer fee itself in need of ironing out.
Thus, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel will have to take his search elsewhere in his pursuit of a right-sided wing-back.
However, as reported several weeks ago, the German is a big fan of Wolverhampton Wanderers star Adama Traore, meaning he could be the answer to his search for a right wing-back this summer. Most commonly known for his speed and trickery with the ball at his feet, Traore, who is currently on international duty with Spain at Euro 2020, is a winger by trade, but has proven in recent years that he can operate at wing-back if required.
Whilst he is not as defensively assured as James, he would be brilliant in an attacking sense, especially when Tuchel is a big believer of seeing wing-backs bombing forward and making things happen at the top end of the pitch.
Ever since joining Wolves from Middlesbrough in 2018, the 25-year-old has gone from strength to strength, earning praise and plaudits from a number of big-name managers and fellow Premier League players.
One Premier League star that has waxed lyrical about his talents in recent years is Liverpool ace Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The Reds defender gave a glowing assessment of the Spaniard last year, insisting that it is “almost not human” with the way he runs at players.
“It’s almost not human the way [Traore] can change direction and go. I’ve never felt so powerless against someone,” Alexander-Arnold admitted
“People are faster than you, that’s inevitable, but you can get yourself in good positions, give yourself a head start and get yourself in the race. But with him, and with his power as well, there’s nothing you can really do.
“I remember last season [2019/20] when he came on at Anfield. He’s just turned and knocked it, and he was gone. I’ve never felt like that before.”
With Alexander-Arnold – one of the Premier League’s most well-respected full-backs – delivering a verdict like that it tells you all you need to know about the fear Traore can impose on his opponents, with his pace often too much for anyone to handle.
His lightening speed can often take Wolves from one end of the pitch to the other in next to no time, which could be well suited to Chelsea’s style, especially with the wing-back system.