Chelsea Transfer News: Why Chelsea Must Sign Etienne Capoue
Photo via actu-foot.fr
If Chelsea signs Toulouse enforcer Étienne Capoue, the Blues will become serious Premier League contenders.
With Roberto Di Matteo retained for another two years, the 4-2-3-1 will be the main formation next season, unless the Italian has a change of heart.
In a 4-2-3-1, Capoue would be pivotal to Chelsea's success, and this is just one of several reasons why he must be signed.
4. Étienne Capoue Fits in a 4-2-3-1
In the "2" of the 4-2-3-1, Roberto Di Matteo needs a deep-lying playmaker and a ball-winning defensive midfielder.
Unless Di Matteo wants to replace Frank Lampard, it makes no sense to sign Luka Modrić. It would mean two deep-lying playmakers with hardly any notable defensive characteristics. Signing Modrić would be a luxury buy, not one predicated on need.
John Obi Mikel and Raul Meireles aren't prolific ball-winners. Mikel was an attacking midfielder before being converted into a defensive midfielder. Meireles is a mediocre footballer in general.
Michael Essien deteriorated to the extent that he only contributed 1.5 tackles and 0.9 interceptions per game.
Oriol Romeu is a good tackler, he's physical and he's mobile, but he probably dreams of going back to Barcelona. It will be bittersweet if Chelsea turn him into a world-class defensive midfielder, only for him to demand a move to Barça.
So this is where Étienne Capoue comes in.
He's strong in the tackle, he dominates in midfield, and he's arguably the most feared player in French football.
There's a reason why he was voted into the UNFP Ligue 1 Team of the Season over Yann M'Vila.
3. Statistically Comparing Étienne Capoue to Chelsea Central Midfielders
Ian Walton/Getty Images
Here's a statistical comparison of Étienne Capoue to Frank Lampard, John Obi Mikel, Raul Meireles, Oriol Romeu and Michael Essien.
Ramires isn't included because he'll play as a right attacking midfielder next season.
The Brazilian wants to roam and he isn't a deep-lying playmaker, so he won't play him as one of the two pivots. Especially when he's so dangerous as a one-man counterattack out on the right.
|League Only||Possession Won Back Per Game||Tackles Per Foul|
In the UEFA Champions League, Romeu's possession won back per game average jumps to 9.3—keep in mind, it's a small sample size. He has so much potential but the likelihood of him defecting to Barcelona after becoming a world-class defensive midfielder, is a risk the Blues must not take.
Aside from Romeu, Chelsea don't have any prolific ball-winners, which is why Capoue must be signed.
2. Étienne Capoue Will Shield Frank Lampard
Aside from being a genius, one of the reasons why Andrea Pirlo created 125 shots, 13 of them leading to goals, was the ball-winning ability of Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio.
Étienne Capoue's presence in midfield will enhance Frank Lampard's ability to dictate play from a deep-lying position.
1. The Importance of a Dominant Midfielder
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
The heart of Arsenal's Invincibles was Patrick Vieira.
West Germany won the 1990 FIFA World Cup with Lothar Matthäus in midfield.
In three seasons with Real Madrid, Claude Makélélé won seven trophies. In the ensuing three seasons after deeming Makélélé useless, Real went trophyless.
Most people remember Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær scoring stoppage-time goals to cause severe heartache to Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final. Yet without Roy Keane's world-class performance against Juventus in the semifinal second leg, United wouldn't have made it to the final.
Graeme Souness was the anchor of the all-conquering Liverpool side of the late 70s and early 80s.
When David Silva struggled with fatigue, who came up big for Manchester City? Yaya Touré.
These examples demonstrate how vital a dominant midfielder is to a team with championship aspirations.
Chelsea shouldn't settle for John Obi Mikel or Raul Meireles—they need Étienne Capoue.