Chelsea line up huge move for world-class centre-back

By Mark Peters IN General,Premier League,Serie A,Transfers - 20:17 Jun 25th 2017

It seems a strange thing to say given how effective they became when Antonio Conte switched to a three-at-the-back system, but Chelsea didn’t actually defend that well in the second half of the season.

In fact, in their final 20 games of the title-winning Premier League campaign, the Blues kept just five clean sheets, showing that there is clearly room for improvement in that area of the pitch.

One player who would strengthen any defence in world football is Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci and reports in the Daily Express suggest that he remains a key target for the Stamford Bridge outfit.

LEONARDO BONUCCI

Having fallen out with his manager, Massimiliano Allegri, earlier in the campaign and then seen his chances of Champions League success blown away by Real Madrid, the Italian international may now be more open to a move than had previously been the case.

A veteran of 227 top-flight games for the Serie A giants, the 30-year-old has played a part in 82 clean sheets in his last 161 league appearances, managing a shutout at a rate of better than one every two matches:

Leonardo Bonucci
POS: DEFAGE: 30Y 1M
HEIGHT: 6FT 3INWEIGHT: 13ST 5LB
GAMES
CLEAN
SHEETS
GOALS
12/13
Juventus
33
16
13/14
Juventus
29
15
2
14/15
Juventus
34
19
3
15/16
Juventus
36
20
3
16/17
Juventus
29
12
3
TOTAL
161
82
11

Not only that, but the cultured defender is also familiar with the way in which Conte operates, turning out for him at both club and international level.

Unlike David Luiz and Gary Cahill, men who are considered to be ball-playing and tough-tackling centre-backs respectively, Bonucci is one of a rare group of individuals whose all-round ability means that they cannot be pigeonholed in this way:

Leonardo
Bonucci
versusGary
Cahill
DEFPOSITIONDEF
30Y 1MAGE31Y 6M
6FT 3INHEIGHT6FT 2IN
13ST 5LBWEIGHT13ST 5LB
 
SA | JUV | | CHE | PL
08/12 - 06/1708/12 - 06/17
155
STARTS
140
14075
MINS
PLAYED
12806
11
GOALS
SCORED
12
H
2
F
9
GOALS
HEAD/FOOT
H
4
F
8
4
ASSISTS
6
82
CLEAN
SHEETS
56
105
GOALS
AGAINST
147
134
MINS PER
GOALS A
87
6
TOTAL
2

Over the course of the last five top-flight campaigns, it has taken opponents roughly 1.5 times as long to score against teams featuring Bonucci as it has against sides involving Cahill, so bringing the Italian to Stamford Bridge can only be a huge positive.

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One Comment

  1. Ebenezer Edzii
    Posted June 26, 2017 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    BONUCCI IS A TRIED AND TESTED DEFENSIVE PLAYER WELL VEXED WITH OUR 3 4 3 SYSTEM AS VAN DIJK IS YOUNGER BUT WE ARE NOT SO SURE ABOUT AFTERMAT PERFORMANCE OF HIS KNEE INJURY IN THIS ROBUST PREMIERSHIP VIS AVIS HIS HIGH £70m PRICE TAG