Experience is a valuable asset among Europe's elite divisions, but as the likes of Luke Shaw and Alberto Moreno have shown of late, it's far from everything.
Fabio Coentrao might have more time playing at the top level than the aforementioned left-back pair, but it's the starlets Chelsea should be chasing this winter and not Jose Mourinho's old Real Madrid asset.
It's just as well in that case that Jose Mourinho recently addressed the speculation linking his club with a move for Coentrao then, noting that he does not intend to go in for his Portuguese compatriot this winter, per ESPN:
No. No. I don't want Portuguese players. I always had them but, at this moment, it's enough. I don't have them now. Only Hilario, the remaining one. But we don't need. We don't need.
What has sparked Mourinho's sudden opposition to signing players of his own nationality is up for debate, but it's for the best in Coentrao's case, with the club having a multitude of more suitable candidates perhaps to replace Ashley Cole.
According to the Daily Mail's David Kent, 18-year-old Shaw and Moreno, 21, are two of those alternatives to have caught the Blues boss' eye in recent months.
While Coentrao provides the impact of a fully-fledged international, the aforementioned duo are both tipped for big futures in their international setups and could be a stock worth investing in before it gets overly expensive.
Chelsea haven't drawn the greatest reputation for fielding young talent in recent years, farming out many of their starlets instead of handing them opportunities at Stamford Bridge, but the price tags of Moreno and Shaw would surely mean that they'd have to be brought in with the intention of thrusting them into the main spotlight.
Coentrao has fallen foul of the Real Madrid line-up in recent seasons, often acting as back-up to Brazilian Marcelo and filling in on the wing or even at defensive midfield as or when needed. While it shows an attractive versatility about the player, it also shows that Coentrao hasn't quite been good enough to nail down his spot here nor there.
The 25-year-old has also suffered greatly in his development of the past two seasons due to a lack of playing time, too.
Coentrao's performances at the 2010 World Cup were enough to capture the attention of a raft of European big guns and his establishment within the Benfica squad made him an attractive asset, but that progress has since tailed off, whereas Shaw and Moreno have been regular starters this season for Southampton and Sevilla, respectively.
The move is a risk considering a loan deal for Real Madrid's man could be the cheapest option of all, but it's become commonplace to pay great deals of money for the younger talents of the world these days.
Chelsea are no strangers to the strategy and should once again place their cash in a younger, more promising model, as opposed to one who's stagnated of late.
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