Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Chelsea ready to meet £31m fee for versatile German defender

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Chelsea are believed to be ready to stump up £31million to exercise Bayer Leverkusen Benjamin Henrich’s release clause according to reports.


It is believed, despite uncertainty surrounding his future, that Antonio Conte is keen on the full-back who can play on either the flank.

The Blues boss added Emerson Palmieri to provide competition for Marcos Alonso and the Italian wants more bodies to help cope with the demands of European football.



At just 21 Henrichs has three caps for Germany and was in the squad for last summer’s Confederations Cup winning squad.

He was scouted by a number of clubs last term, including Tottenham and both Manchester clubs but side a contract extension with Leverkusen that included the addition of the release clause.

The youngster, who can also play in midfield, has 23 Bundesliga appearances this season in spite of injury problems.



While lacking in outings this season, he initially impressed clubs during performances in the Champions League towards the end of 2016 so has some pedigree despite his age.

Bakayoko finally repays Antonio Conte’s incredible faith

It was a big gamble for Antonio Conte to play Tiemoue Bakayoko yesterday. The midfielder is being essentially rehabbed from some shocking performances ealier in the year, and he built on a quiet but effective showing against Swansea into a really strong game against Liverpool.

From the first minute the Frenchman looked more assertive and assured, playing passes between the lines and forcing Liverpool back with his dyanmic running form the middle of the park.



While the 352 formation Antonio Conte chose was supposed to help Cesc Fabregas get a platform to play from, in fact it ended up benefiting Bakayoko even more, as he often found himself as the spare man able to move head of N’Golo Kante and Fabregas and find spaces ahead of Liverpool’s defence.

While it’s been a poor season overall for the former Monaco man, at least we’ve had a few more glimpses of what he can do to keep us hopeful over the summer that everything can change next season.



And for that we do have to thank Antonio Conte, whose faith in the midfielder has helped him recover from those shocking outings against Bournemouth and Watford.

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