View: Josko Gvardiol would add ball-playing dimension to Chelsea backline
Chelsea are interested in RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol – and the 20-year-old would be a progressive option for Thomas Tuchel.
The Guardian’s Fabrizio Romano revealed (via Twitter, 6 September) that Chelsea have had a bid turned down for the left-footed defender and that the plan was for him to come to the club in June 2023.
If Tuchel can get a deal over the line, then the Chelsea boss will have an excellent left-sided option that will make his back line far more progressive.
Gvardiol can operate as a central defender in a three and as a left back which makes him the ideal option for Tuchel to bolster the left side of his defence after Wesley Fofana’s arrival on the right.
As per Wyscout, Gvardiol has averaged 12.35 progressive passes per 90 in the 2022/23 season for the Bundesliga side which indicates that he is able to start attacks from the back and is not scared to do so, with the Croatian ranking in the top ten in Germany for progressive passes.
Furthermore, the Croatian ranks third in the Bundesliga for the number of passes completed per 90 minutes with 69.18, which could suit Tuchel’s short passing patterns out of defence.
Gvardiol’s 91 per cent accuracy also indicates that he has real quality when it comes to dictating play out of defence.
Remarkably, the Chelsea target has progressed the ball forward through 545.83 passes which is the highest in the Bundesliga.
After a busy window on the transfer front for Tuchel, particularly in defence, it is clear that he wants to add a progressive side to his backline after adding genuine defensive quality in Kalidou Koulibaly and Fofana.
Whilst not being as strong defensively Gvardiol could thrive in a three-at-the-back formation under Tuchel and should certainly be someone to watch should he make the move to the Premier League in the future.
In other Chelsea news, Chelsea ready bid to sign Fulham starlet Luke Harris.