Fabio Coentrao to Chelsea: Rubbishing the Rumour
The Blues are expected to pursue the Portuguese international as a replacement for Ashley Cole, but there are certain elements of this purported deal that don't sit right.
Read on for more details.
A lot of people will expect Chelsea to take a long hard look at Ryan Bertrand if Ashley Cole leaves the club.
He's been the 99-cap England international's understudy for an incredible amount of time, and he's shown glimpses of his superb ability in both Chelsea and Reading shirts.
The successful 70-odd minutes he had against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League final will have been a massive encouragement, and Bertrand deserves the chance to bag 15 games in a row and stake his claim for the long-term position of Chelsea left-back.
If it doesn't work out, buy elsewhere. Until then, buy or promote an understudy to Bertrand.
Why Leave Real Madrid?
You've also got to ask the question—why would Fabio Coentrao want to leave Real Madrid?
That's no slant on Chelsea or any club for that matter, but Los Merengues are one of the most famous clubs in the world, and he's far from their Stewart Downing.
Although Marcelo appears the No. 1 choice at left-back for Jose Mourinho while the Brazilian himself believes he's the best left-back in the world (via ESPNStar.com), Coentrao is ticking along nicely at the Santiago Bernabeu.
As second choice he made over 30 appearances in all competitions last season and has this year enjoyed a successful run in the side due to Marcelo's injury.
If he wasn't getting a look, then fair enough, but if you're racking up the appearances and playing in the UEFA Champions League, why depart?
The Cristiano Ronaldo Factor
Of all the left-wingers in the world Fabio Coentrao wants to play with, Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to be top of the list.
He enjoys the same partnership at both domestic and international level—a certifiable rarity, in case you were wondering—and the said partnership happens to be with one of the world's best-ever players.
Ronaldo's tendency to drift inward is perfect for Coentrao's use of the left touchline, and the left-back happens to be one of the few players Ronaldo appears to trust. He doesn't pass to many.
If It Happens, It Won't Happen in January
As far as Fabio Coentrao's skill set is concerned, he's an elite left-back going forward and in defence. In my personal opinion, he's better than Marcelo.
If Chelsea are looking to replace one top-tier left-back in Ashley Cole with another, the Portuguese is a wise choice. The timing of it just doesn't fit.
Cole won't be leaving until the summer, and the best possible situation for Chelsea here is that the England international doesn't actually leave. The last thing they're going to do in their efforts to convince him to stay is sign his replacement six months in advance.