Chelsea Transfer News: Why Gregory Van Der Wiel Would Be a Stupid Signing
Chelsea will have to pay Ajax €10 million for Van der Wiel, who can be signed for free next season, according to Duncan Castles at The National.
Here's why Chelsea must avoid signing Van der Wiel.
6. Gregory van der Wiel's Defending Is José Bosingwa-Esque
Gregory van der Wiel has never been a strong defender, but this season he has been as awful as José Bosingwa.
Both players lack the positional awareness to be an elite right-back.
Having already clattered Dries Mertens earlier in the game, Van der Wiel thought it was smart to do it in his penalty area—he conceded a penalty, which was later converted by Georginio Wijnaldum.
In a 1-1 draw against Twente, Van der Wiel forgot to mark Luuk de Jong, who scored an 87th-minute equaliser.
In a 1-0 loss to Groningen, Petter Andersson managed to get away from Van der Wiel (surprise, surprise).
The Dutchman hastily tracked back, dived in for a tackle and somehow handled the ball. Red card, another penalty conceded, to which Leandro Bacuna dispatched the spot kick for the winning goal.
In a 6-4 loss to Utrecht, rather than clear the ball, Van der Wiel played a half-baked back-pass to Kenneth Vermeer (who had a terrible game), which led to another embarrassing goal.
In a 3-1 win over Vitesse, Van der Wiel didn't adequately defend Giorgi Chanturia (keep an eye out for him), whose incisive pass led to Nicky Hofs scoring.
These are just the mistakes that led to goals. There are a multitude of occasions where Van der Wiel is either weak in the tackle or is caught out of position.
5. Gregory van der Wiel Isn't Even the Best Right-Back at Ajax
Ricardo van Rhijn oozed of class at right-back.
He also dominated Dries Mertens, who scored 27 goals and provided 25 assists in 52 games this season, when Ajax beat PSV Eindhoven 2-0.
Van Rhijn may be a no-name to most, but the 20-year-old played better at right-back than Gregory van der Wiel.
So if Van der Wiel isn't even the best right-back at Ajax, he definitely has nothing on Kelvin Leerdam and Daryl Janmaat—two of the Eredivisie's top right-backs.
Signing Van der Wiel would be like a team signing Erik Pieters even though Jetro Willems has been a far superior left-back.
4. Gregory van der Wiel's UEFA Champions League Performances
Gregory van der Wiel wasn't terrible in the UEFA Champions League, but he didn't impress.
Let's see how he statistically compares to an elite right-back like Darijo Srna.
|Champions League Only||van der Wiel||Srna|
|Tackles Per Game||1.7||4.4|
|Interceptions Per Game||3.5||2|
|Fouls Per Game||1.3||1.8|
It's concerning that Van der Wiel's tackles-per-game average is so low. He gambles quite a bit, which is why he routinely intercepts the ball, but he also gets caught out when he fails to win the ball.
His fouls-per-game average looks acceptable, but it isn't. He only completed 1.25 tackles per foul compared to Srna's 2.4.
3. No Need for Gregory van der Wiel with Branislav Ivanović at Right-Back
Branislav Ivanović may not be a world-class right-back, but he's steady.
Defenders have to be good tacklers.
Ivanović is a strong tackler, while Gregory van der Wiel is a weak tackler.
As long as Ivanović is fully-fit, Van der Wiel will be warming the benches.
2. 3 Realistic and Better Alternatives to Gregory van der Wiel
Here are three realistic and better alternatives to Gregory van der Wiel.
1. Mathieu Debuchy, Lille, Age: 26
Indisputably the best right-back in Ligue 1.
2. Tony Jantschke, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Age: 22
Consistent week in, week out. Would be a regular in the German national team if Joachim Löw didn't have a fixation on playing centre-backs as right-backs.
3. César Azpilicueta, Marseille, Age: 22
Strong in the tackle and loves to intercept the ball, as Paris Saint-Germain found out when he made 12 interceptions.
1. Final Comment
In 2008, Chelsea spent £16.2 million José Bosingwa.
Four years of mind-numbingly atrocious defending is over after the Blues decided to let the Portuguese "defender" leave.
My lasting memories of Bosingwa are all negative after he hogged the UEFA Champions League trophy, stood at the centre of the podium and acted as if he was the man of the moment—Chelsea triumphed in spite of him.
If he didn't pull his hamstring against Napoli, Ashley Cole wouldn't have come on to block Christian Maggio's shot off the line—that would have been 4-1 and arrivederci.
If Chelsea buy Gregory van der Wiel, he'll be the new Bosingwa.