Chelsea Transfers: 5 Midfielders the Blues Could Sign in January

Hayden Deitrick@hdeitrickFeatured ColumnistOctober 11, 2012

Chelsea Transfers: 5 Midfielders the Blues Could Sign in January

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    Chelsea will surely make a move during the January transfer window to improve upon their struggling defensive midfield.  

    While Chelsea currently sit atop the table in the Barclays Premier League, they still have vulnerabilities that will need to be addressed come January.

    The most pressing of these concerns is the lack of a solid defensive midfielder who has both the physical and technical skills necessary to stop opposing attackers in their tracks.

    There are a number of possible players who could come to Stamford Bridge in January.  

    Five of these possibilities, however, stand out amongst the rest.

Marouane Fellaini

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    Chelsea would love to bring Everton’s Marouane Fellaini into their defensive midfield. 

    Fellaini has the necessary skills to thrive in Chelsea’s two-man defensive midfield. 

    The Belgian international has a rare skill-set that makes him effective as both a defender and an attacker.

    Fellaini tackles well and is aggressive.  He is rarely caught out of position and has the awareness to join the attack when necessary.

    Fellaini’s ability to control the midfield has been evident this season.  He absolutely dominated Manchester United’s midfield and scored a header over Michael Carrick to secure three points for Everton.

    Fellaini has expressed his interest in playing Champions League soccer in the coming seasons.

    Chelsea could look to place a bid of £25 million for Fellaini this January.  

Lars Bender

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    Chelsea could also look to purchase Bayer Leverkusen’s holding midfielder Lars Bender.

    Bender is a star in the making.  He is fast, strong and a ferocious tackler.

    Last season, Bender averaged over three-and-a-half tackles per game

    He has fantastic awareness that leads to vital interceptions, allowing Leverkusen to counter-attack. 

    Bender’s future is bright.  He has made appearances for the German national team and most notably scored a goal against Denmark in the Euro Cup this summer.

    Bender would fit in well with the fast-paced attack set by Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata.  He would be able to join the attack well and would be more than capable of solidifying the midfield.

    Leverkusen are looking to hold onto this player as they believe he has a very bright future. 

    However, Bayer Leverkusen would likely sell the defensive midfielder to Chelsea for £18-£20 million.

Sven Bender

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    Another potential transfer target for Chelsea is Lars’s twin brother Sven Bender.    

    Sven, who plays for Borussia Dortmund, is the more defensive-minded of the two brothers.

    Last season, Sven was responsible for an average 3.9 tackles per game and an average of 2.9 interceptions each game.

    Sven would pair well with Frank Lampard who would then be more free to join the attack. 

    He would give Chelsea a smarter, more defensive option at midfield. 

    Chelsea would have to offer in the range of £20-£22 million to pry Bender from the talented Dortmund squad.

Yann M'Vila

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    If Chelsea are looking for top-tier young talent, they should look no further than Rennes defensive midfielder Yann M’Vila.

    The French international is only 22-years-old and has already drawn the attention of many top teams in England. 

    M’Vila would be an immediate improvement at defensive midfield for Chelsea.  While Mikel has been up and down over the past few seasons, M'Vila has been consistently great.

    He is fearless in midfield.  There is no player he is afraid to confront.  Whether it be Michael Carrick or Lionel Messi himself, M’Vila can be counted to step up and make a tackle. 

    While M’Vila does not find goal often, he plays a key part in the build up of the attack.  He could be a valuable addition to the wings and midfielders that Chelsea have in place already.

    Chelsea could use M’Vila for his defensive prowess and his youth. 

    With Lampard in the last season of his contract, Chelsea must build for the future.  A player like M’Vila is an investment that will pay dividends for years to come. 

Cheick Tiote

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    Newcastle United have had success in holding on to arguably the best defensive midfielders in the EPL.

    Many speculated that Tiote would move during the summer transfer period.  Teams lined up bids for the Ivorian midfielder that ultimately proved to be unsuccessful. 

    Recently, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew praised Tiote for his tenacity and skill.

    He said, "Tiote gets a grip of a game and gives you a platform to play. You can start to dominate with somebody like Cheick. He puts other teams on the back foot. He's one of our most important players.”

    Tiote is the exact kind of player Chelsea need.  They could use a player who can physically dominate the midfield.  

    This would allow the attack free reign to push to goal without fear of a quick counter-attack.

    If Tiote is available in January, look for Chelsea to make a bid for the physical defensive midfielder.