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.
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:
|POS: DEF||AGE: 30Y 1M|
|HEIGHT: 6FT 3IN||WEIGHT: 13ST 5LB|
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:
|30Y 1M||AGE||31Y 6M|
|6FT 3IN||HEIGHT||6FT 2IN|
|13ST 5LB||WEIGHT||13ST 5LB|
|SA | JUV |||| CHE | PL|
|08/12 - 06/17||08/12 - 06/17|
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.