The Young African Star Firmly On Chelsea’s Radar

By timgarrett IN Premier League,Transfers - 12:30 Jul 10th 2018

The Premier League is famous around the world for providing drama year in, year out, but the saga currently playing out at Chelsea must be ranked among its most bizarre.

Antonio Conte remains the club’s manager despite months of speculation suggesting he’s sure to leave and, while presumed successor Maurizio Sarri waits in the wings, the squad is now back training under the former Juventus man.

Confusion reigns throughout the club, but the transfer window waits for no man. Chelsea have begun to make moves regardless of who may or may not be their boss when the opening day of the Premier League rolls around. The club’s hierarchy has spoken, and they know the players they want.

The first of which, it appears, is Lille’s Ivorian winger Nicolas Pépé.

A 23-year-old known widely as a striker, Pépé spent last season tearing through Ligue 1 from a right-wing berth. Full of pace, power and skill, he was able to wrack up incredibly impressive numbers:

Nicolas
Pepe
VEden
Hazard
LilleChelsea
FWD   23Y 1M   6FT 0INMID   27Y 6M   5FT 7IN
Jun 2017 - Jun 2018
PEPE
HAZARD
Starts
31
28
Minutes played
2846
2433
Goals
13
12
Assists
5
4
Opening goals
7
3
Winning goals
5
3
Home goals
7
4
Away goals
6
8
Goals with feet
11
12
Goals with head
2
Minutes per goal
219
203
TOTAL
8
3

Eden Hazard is undoubtedly Chelsea’s most talented individual and talisman, yet it’s striking to see just how close Pépé came to matching his output last season whilst playing for a far less fashionable team.

Pépé did enjoy more playing time than Hazard and, as such, it’s not totally surprising that he registered more goals and assists. With only 16 minutes separating the pair in terms of average minutes per goal, however, it’s clear to see just how close they were.

At almost 4 and a half years his junior, it’s tempting to wonder just how close the Pépé may come to emulating or even surpassing the Hazard in coming years. He’s young, full of talent and is already performing at the highest level. Players like that are few and far between, and Chelsea should seek to snap him up as quickly as possible.

TODAY'S TOP OFFER

1966 may seem like a long time ago now, but memories of England’s last World Cup triumph refuse to fade.

Can Gareth Southgate’s men repeat the feat of Moore, Charlton & Co. and bring the famous old trophy home from Russia? As they continue to march on, it's beginning to feel more likely than almost ever before.

To make it all even more exciting for those backing England, there's also serious money to be made. New Ladbrokes customers can get England at an enhanced 33/1 to beat Croatia in 90 mins and reach the World Cup final! Click here to place your bet now!

Max Stake £1. Winnings paid in free bets. Full T&Cs Apply. 18+|Gamble Aware

This entry was posted in Premier League, Transfers
and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.