After the announcement of John Terry’s departure from Stamford Bridge come the end of the season just over a fortnight ago, rumours have been rife with regards to Chelsea’s defensive targets this summer.
Leading the line as the favourite to replace Terry at Stamford Bridge and claim a potential starting spot at the heart of Antonio Conte’s three man defence is highly-rated Netherlands defender Virgil Van Dijk, who has also been linked with a summer move to Liverpool.
Currently out on the sidelines till the end of the season after he suffered ligament damage to his foot back in a 3-0 victory over Leicester City on January, Van Dijk’s impressive performances during his nearly two season spell at St. Mary’s have attracted attention from a number of the Premier League’s top clubs.
Signed from Celtic during the summer of 2015 for a fee believed to be in the region of around £13 million, the Dutchman has since made 63 appearances for the Saints and scored 6 goals. His towering performances in the centre of defence, as well as his ability to play the ball out calmly from the back has led to the 25-year-old receiving plenty of praise from the outer realms of the footballing world.
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp described Van Dijk, as ‘immense’ and the ‘best centre back in the Premier League’ after his performance against Liverpool earlier in the season, while Ian Wright stated the Dutchman is a ‘must buy’ for the Reds this summer.
It appears however, that it is now Antonio Conte and Chelsea who lead the race for the defender’s much sought after signature, with either a deal in excess of £50 million or a cash plus player deal that would see on-loan Blue Andreas Christensen move in the other direction on the cards. Christensen is currently on-loan at Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach, but is expected to return to Stamford Bridge during the summer for the Blues’ pre-season.
A Danish internatonal, Christensen has himself enjoyed great success whilst on loan in Germany, with his performances also seeing him touted as a potential replacement for John Terry. While his current side have struggled in the Bundesliga this season, the 20-year-old defender has still impressed, producing commanding performances far beyond that of his years at the heart of the ‘Gladbach defence, most notably in this season’s Champion’s League group stages. Not only would Christensen’s return to South-east London see him return to a familiar hunting round, but would also represent a far cheaper option for the Blues.
So which move is the right one? Have your say below.