Ever since Chelsea sold off Nemanja Matic to Manchester United, they have been linked with a host of players who are likely to replace the Serbian in midfield. And if the latest reports are to be believed then Chelsea are now chasing Everton want-away man Ross Barkley. Toffees boss Ronald Koeman has already made it clear that Barkley has refused to sign a new deal with the club, meaning that the English International will move out in the summer. Up until now, Tottenham Hotspur
Up until now, Tottenham Hotspur were said to be the frontrunners in signing Barkley but now with Chelsea entering the race the deal is going to be much more complicated. More so because Everton have priced Barkley at £50 million which for Chelsea is not too steep an amount. But for Spurs, the scenario is quite different cause we all know that the Spurs chairman Daniel Levy just does not spend such huge amounts in the market.
Chelsea want Ross Barkley cause they see him as an ideal replacement for Nemanja Matic. So we take a look at how does the Englishman fares against Man Utd’s newest defensive midfielder.
Embed from Getty Images
The first major difference that you will notice in this swapping of midfield personnels is the fact that Nemanja Matic was a defensive midfielder at Chelsea – responsible for breaking up play and stopping counter attacks. While Ross Barkley, on the other hand, is an attacking midfielder whose main task is to assist the forwards. So quite clearly the two players have been playing quite different roles up until last season. But having said that Barkley is just 23 years old and will have plenty of time to learn and settle into that defensive midfield role – if he wants to that it.
Another major problem that Antonio Conte will face if he decides to put Ross Barkley in front of the defence is the fact that he just does not have the ability to make interceptions and blocks. In totality, his defensive contribution is quite weak when compared to that of Matic and a season where the Blues are getting back to playing Champions League football, we are not quite sure if making such a huge experiment will be a good idea.
And finally last season, Everton boss Ronald Koeman had gone on record to say that Barkley was unable to improve tactically – meaning he was too much of a one-dimensional player. And this will be a huge problem if Conte decides to play the 23-year-old as a screen in front of his defence.
The Football Fan Base view:
Ross Barkley might have lost a large chunk of his form in the final months of the previous season but there’s no denying that he is a wonderful player. And to get him on board will be nothing short of a steal for Chelsea. But we feel that Conte might be targeting him for all the wrong reasons.