Chelsea have been urged to sign Frenkie de Jong for the same reason Liverpool acquired Thiago Alcantara – a brave deal which has reaped rewards.
Barcelona midfielder De Jong’s future has dominated this summer’s headlines as the saga of the transfer window so far. Manchester United’s desire to sign him is well-documented, but so too is his desire to stay at Camp Nou – or turn down Old Trafford at least.
Barca’s financial need to get him off their wage bill is another tangent to a seemingly never-ending story.
In recent days, though, Chelsea have reportedly threatened to offer a swift conclusion. They are supposedly preparing an offer of their own for Netherlands international De Jong.
And the 25-year-old would reportedly prefer moving to Stamford Bridge ahead of Man Utd. Questions have subsequently been raised about whether De Jong fits the profile of an ideal Chelsea signing this summer.
Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol told ESPN FC: “Listen, Frenkie de Jong is a great player.
“And so, great players can play for any team and if you want to take Jorginho out and get rid of him and put Frenkie de Jong in, then I think that makes Chelsea better, put it that way. In my mind I don’t get that De Jong’s a Chelsea player.
“But at the same time, you need to get better. Chelsea, Liverpool, [Manchester] City are always looking every single season, every transfer window, ‘how do we get better? Who do we get to make us better?’”
Furthermore, ex-Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson claimed Chelsea signing De Jong could mirror Liverpool signing Thiago from Bayern Munich – away from their usual remit but proving to be a brilliant acquisition.
De Jong transfer compared to Thiago
“Go back to Liverpool, Thiago. Nobody thought Thiago was going to be a Liverpool player because he didn’t close the ball down quite as quickly,” Robson said.
“They wanted a slightly different player who could open up defences and spread the play. Thiago took a good year to settle down at Liverpool but eventually last season he had a great season.
“That could be the same for somebody like De Jong.”
De Jong is in Barcelona’s pre-season squad but his future seemingly remains as unclear as ever.
Chelsea need midfield reinforcements
Chelsea have proved a strong force at times with their midfield trio of Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic, but now is the time to take a risk on De Jong.
Indeed, Jorginho’s current deal expires in 2023 – as does Kante’s. Kovacic’s terms run until 2024, but that does not offer much more security over his future.
Chelsea need to make decisions on the trio for the immediate future of the club. But aside from that, the Blues must prioritise signing more long-term talents because Kovacic is the youngest of the three players at 28.
Chelsea could swoop in for Frenkie de Jong
Chelsea are still in the race for Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong as he continues to stall on a move.
Signing the three players to new contracts would of course be ideal, but the club have to move on at some point.
And taking a punt on De Jong while his future is uncertain would be a good move, considering he is only 25 and can contribute throughout the midfield.