Chelsea F.C.: Five Young Defenders That the Blues Should Target
After a season of ups and downs, Chelsea have been very active in the transfer market. The Blues may have won both the Champions League and the FA Cup but still had major problems in the Premier League and looked like a team in disarray until Roberto Di Matteo became manager.
So far, Chelsea have completed the signings of Eden Hazard and Marko Marin and are looking to finalize deals for Brazilian duo Hulk and Oscar.
The Londoners have only been (seriously) pursuing attacking players and it is time for them to look at defenders. While their back line may have played very well at the end of the season, fans will remember how poor Chelsea's defense was for much of the campaign.
The addition of Gary Cahill in January and the improved performances of David Luiz have helped the Blues defensively, but Di Matteo should still dip into the transfer market for another defender.
It's not essential that Chelsea spend a lot of money on one of the world's best defenders. Instead, the Blues should buy a young(er), cheaper player who has great potential.
Here's a list of five young defenders that Chelsea should target this summer:
Sebastian Corchia (Right-Back)
Current Club: Sochaux
Sebastian Corchia, at 21, is one of the most promising right-backs in Europe. He has yet to make an appearance for the French senior team but has performed very well for his country at youth levels while also impressing in the domestic leagues.
For the past few years, the EPL hasn't had a plethora of great right-backs and it would be great for Chelsea to buy Corchia on the cheap before his price explodes.
Javi Martinez (Center-Back)
David Ramos/Getty Images
Current Club: Athletic Bilbao
Javi Martinez has been at Bilbao since 2006 and has impressed greatly as both a center-midfielder and a central defender.
After being named the La Liga Breakthrough Player of the Year in 2010, Martinez was picked for Spain's squad that won the World Cup. He was also picked in his nation's squad for the Euros this year.
For Bilbao, Martinez has over 250 appearances, with 54 coming in the past season, which saw the team reach the Europa League final. While he may have many international medals, the 23-year-old has yet to win any trophy with his club team. A move to Chelsea would certainly change that.
Sime Vrsaljko (Left/Right-Back)
Current Club: Dinamo Zagreb
Vrsaljko is probably the least known player on this list as he has only played for Croatian sides Dinamo Zagreb and NK Lokomotiva, while only making four appearances for the Croatian national team.
The 20-year-old has been praised for his versatility, as he can play all across the back line (though mainly at full-back). A player like that would certainly suit Chelsea.
While he may not be a widely known player, it may take more money than expected to bring Vrsaljko to Stamford Bridge. When the Croatian was only 18, Marseille were unable to buy the defender despite offering €4 million to Dinamo.
Mamadou Sakho (Center-Back)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Current Club: Paris Saint-Germain
Like Sebastian Corchia, Mamadou Sakho has impressed while playing in Ligue 1 and the French national team's youth teams. The 6'2'' defender began to feature regularly for PSG's senior side when he was just 18 years old and has appeared in over 150 matches since then.
However, the recent arrival of Thiago Silva at PSG has put Sakho's future in doubt. The Frenchman already has to compete with Diego Lugano, Alex, Milan Bisevic, Sylvain Armand, and Zoumana Camara for the center-defense positions and the arrival of Silva will make life even harder for Sakho.
Mateo Musacchio (Center-Back)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images
Current Club: Villarreal
Musacchio played for River Plate until 2009 when he moved to Villarreal. The Argentinian played with the reserves for a year after the transfer and made his senior debut in 2010.
Since then, Musacchio has established himself as a starter in the squad, partnering fellow countryman Gonzalo Rodriguez in the center-back positions.
Villarreal's 2011/2012 season was unbelievably poor as the Yellow Submarine was relegated from La Liga and finished with zero points in their Champions League group.
While Musacchio, like most Villarreal players, didn't have a great season, it would be a good idea for Chelsea to invest in the 21-year-old. The Argentinian would be very cheap and is still young.