Chelsea FC Transfers: 12 January Targets for Andre Villas-Boas to Save His Job
Assuming André Villas-Boas will be still managing, come the January transfer window, this Chelsea team needs three new players to stabilise his job security.
A centre back, a right winger and a left winger.
Why no creative midfielder?
Surely Juan Mata will be moved to the centre because he doesn’t press out wide and drifts into centre out when he is meant to be providing width.
Chelsea does not need a right back because Branislav Ivanović is a firm full back.
This article will examine four options for the three positions: big-name, medium-name, youth and my preference.
Big-Name Centre Back: Neven Subotić (Borussia Dortmund)
There is no way that Borussia Dortmund will relinquish Mats Hummels, who is the best young centre back in the world.
He is the heart and soul of the team, and he leads from the back, literally and figuratively.
For Dortmund to sell Hummels, it would give Mario Götze a reason to leave and sell out Dortmund's chances of retaining the Bundesliga.
So I see the more cultured, more old-school and rock-like centre back Neven Subotić as an easier target.
He does not possess Hummels' play-making ability but is competent with the ball, and more importantly Subotić is solid.
He was elbowed by Sotirios Kyrgiakos and will miss the rest of the year.
Subotić's replacement is Felipe Santana and if the Brazilian has a blinder, then perhaps Subotić cannot retain his position, thereby giving Dortmund a reason to cash in.
It's a similar situation when Sven Bender took advantage of when captain and inspirational midfielder Sebastian Kehl broke down with injury.
Medium-Name Centre Back: Rolando (Porto)
Rolando's links with André Villas-Boas makes him an easy transfer option.
Even though Rolando was instrumental in Porto conceding 16 goals in 30 league games last season (Chelsea have already conceded 15 in 11 league games), I don't rate Rolando.
Watching him against Barcelona, he showed the good in some last-ditched tackles and the bad in getting himself stupidly sent off.
The guy is a walking suspension; he's like David Luiz except without the play-making ability.
The UEFA technical panel have given Rolando a 4.9/10 so far in his three UEFA Champions League games.
Young Centre Back: Philipp Wollscheid (Nuremberg)
Philipp Wollscheid is an exceptional young talent.
He has a lot of similarities with Sebastián Coates, except the fact that Coates is warming the benches whereas Wollscheid is playing week in, week out.
Wollscheid is a solid tackler and very clean in possession.
It would pain me to see a Premier League rival sign Wollscheid, have the "experts" who don't watch the Bundesliga mock the transfer and then watch the German centre back blossom.
Surely, Chelsea's scouts know who he is; now the question is do Chelsea have enough courage to sign a young unknown centre back.
My guess is no.
My Preferred Centre Back: Dante (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
My preferred centre back would be Mats Hummels but as you've read in the previous slide, that won't happen, so from here on, my preferred choices are realistic options.
Borussia Mönchengladbach's ascent up the Bundesliga ladder can be attributed to three players: Marc-André ter Stegen, Dante and Marco Reus.
£10 million will be enough to coax Mönchengladbach into selling their prized centre back because Dante has never played for a top club.
He can also play at left back and is more like Branislav Ivanović at full back; however the Brazilian doesn't shy away from attempting some samba-like moves.
He is tough, an impressive physical specimen and will enjoy the contact the Premier League offers.
One slight concern is that last season he was out for a few months with knee ligament injury, whilst he has recovered from it—will it be an issue down the line?
Big-Name Right Winger: Miloš Krasić (Juventus)
There's a big red flag in that Miloš Krasić isn't a regular for Juventus, yet the Italian club have done well without him.
Why is this the case?
Either way, I'm not too familiar with the politics of Juventus; what I am familiar with is this guy is a great player.
He'll bring skill, he'll bring incisive running and...diving.
He's up there with one of the best divers in the world.
The Italians were so disgusted with his cheating ways that they suspended him for diving (something the English FA don't do).
Medium-Name Right Winger: Marko Marin (Werder Bremen)
Marko Marin has been playing in a more central role for Thomas Schaaf but his dribbling ability is up there, so why not play him on the wings.
I presume it must be Marin's preference to be played in a more central role.
It's like Juan Mata when he plays out "wide"; he drifts in and effectively becoming a central player.
What made Marin so dangerous last season was he could cut in or he could run down the flank and deliver in a cross.
Perhaps Schaaf was thinking if you're not going to stick out wide, I'll play you centrally as the 1 in a 4-3-1-2.
But being more central takes away that unpredictability Marin had last season and unlike Mata, he isn't a world-class playmaker (yet).
Young Right Winger: Emilio Nsue (Mallorca)
With pace in abundance, Emilio Nsue is also a tireless worker.
Mallorca are in dire financial straits so £5-10 million will be enough for Nsue to join up with his compatriots Fernando Torres, Juan Mata and Oriol Romeu.
My Preferred Right Winger: Marco Reus (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
It amazes me that people are still throwing in Marko Marin's name when Marco Reus has been one of the in-form wingers/quasi-forwards last season and this season.
Reus is just a pocket rocket. This kid is jet-heeled and technically proficient, and the more I see him, the more I begin to think I wonder which club will sign him.
He has so much upside in him that he has also shown he can play centrally or as a forward, but his best position is as a right winger.
Big-Name Left Winger: Marcelo (Real Madrid)
Marcelo is a quasi-left winger anyways whose defending leaves a lot to be desired.
The reason why I put in Marcelo is because Fábio Coentrão has looked very good at left back. Not only have Real Madrid put a lid on conceding goals, but the Portuguese wing-back has also provided two assists.
Not to mention he is Portuguese, can play multiple positions, has higher football IQ than Marcelo and is more disciplined.
If Chelsea put in a £25-30 million bid for Marcelo then who knows, maybe Real Madrid would accept it.
Marcelo is up there with talent and explosiveness.
Medium-Name Left Winger: Juan Vargas (Fiorentina)
Victims of Juan Vargas will conjure up descriptions that I cannot type here but you can only imagine the pleasantries exchanged with the Peruvian.
Not only does he is steel-minded but he has finesse to back it up.
He has one heck of a left boot and will be a valuable member to any team.
I hope Chelsea sign him.
Young Left Winger: Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
When do you get a 6'3" wide player who is comfortable with taking players on?
People rate Juan Agudelo quite highly, well I rate Brek Shea a better prospect than Agudelo.
I think Shea will transition into a forward but it depends if he can beat players off the dribble in the Premier League like he can in the MLS.
If so, then stick him out wide because not only does he have the physical advantage but the technical advantage.
My Preferred Left Winger: Pablo Armero (Udinese)
I wouldn't trust Pablo Armero as the last defender nor would I trust him in front of goals (as Arsenal pleasantly found out).
What I would trust him with is beating the full back time after time after time.
Dynamite and Speedy Gonzales are the two descriptions I think of when I see the name Armero.
At the end of the day, speed kills and if utilised correctly, Fernando Torres may have found a new best friend.
Please also watch Lionel Messi's Top 20 Barcelona Goals.