A Blue Defence: The ins and outs
Kurt Zouma in action for Chelsea post lockdown (Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC / GettyImages)

Chelsea are set to bolster their defence in the upcoming transfer window after conceding the most Premier League goals in the top 10 with 54. 

Lewis Dunk and John Stones have been linked with Chelsea over the coming days. A move for Brighton skipper, Dunk, is being reported by various outlets including The Sun

The one obstacle in Frank Lampard’s debut managerial season at Stamford Bridge has been the defence. Lack of concentration, a failure to command on defensive set pieces and aerial battles have been a constant frustration. 

Chelsea did achieve their goal of making top four, just. Lampard wants to win the big trophies, like he did as a player at the Bridge, a strong and stubborn defence is mandatory if this is going to be achieved. 

Chelsea have predominantly played four centre-backs this season. Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori have been rotated. Not one of the defenders have been able to cement a place in the side all season.  

Which central defender will make way for a new incoming next season? Each one has their strong points. More notably this season, they have had their negative frailties highlighted. 

Antonio Rudiger 

The Stamford Bridge faithful thought ‘Rudi’ was going to be the number one centre-half at the start of the season. It hasn’t really worked out how many expected a year on.  

The German number two played 20 Premier League games last season, missing 18, mainly due to a groin injury. His stand-out game throughout the season was scoring two goals away at Leicester in the two all draw at The King Power

When Rudiger has played this season, Chelsea have only won half of the games. Winning 10, drawing three and losing seven.  

He has kept five clean sheets when in the backline and along with making 28 tackles, his success rate stands at 64%. 

Kurt Zouma 

The Frenchman was returning to Chelsea after a few years out on loan at Stoke City and Everton. He had impressed out on loan, but this was his time to make himself known in West London as a top draw player. 

All in all, Zouma was the best defender at the club last season. This was due to his tough tackling and his vocal leadership. He played 28 games in the league, but one main highlight came in the Champions League against Ajax.  

He challenged his inner Christian Pulisic after he jinxed his way through the Dutch team, included a few impressive step overs, but ultimately fired over the bar when it came to finding the back of the net. A typical centre-back. 

After keeping seven topflight clean sheets and making 23 tackles, his success rate concluded at 61%. 

Andreas Christensen 

A product of Cobham training centre after making the move from Brøndby IF in 2012 at just 16, Christensen was finally starting to play regular first team football in 2017/2018 under Antonio Conte. Now in 2020, many thought he would be one of the first names on the team sheet. 

He had a solid run in the side after playing 90 minutes in 11 games out of the last 17. But after being part of the defence that capitulated in the 3-0 loss to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, he did not feature again in the league.  

He brings a different approach to the side. He carries traits of intercepting, one on one tackling and reading the game in front of him with his silky style. His issue has always been his build, maybe his lightweight frame lets him down when he goes up against the physical forwards. 

He played 21 games in the league, keeping three clean sheets. His tackle success was 55% after making 38 tackles throughout the campaign. 

Fikayo Tomori 

Part of Frank Lampard’s Derby County side who reached the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off final in 2018/2019, Tomori returned to Chelsea expecting to play first team football. 

Just five games into the league season, blues fans thought they found a gem after he rocketed one into the top corner against Wolves at Molineux in the 5-2 win.  

He started the next 10 games in the league, but after this run in the side, he appeared in only four games until the end of the season. His last appearance was away at Bournemouth. A 2-2 draw on the south coast. 

When in the side, ‘Fik’ kept four clean sheets in 15 outings. He made 29 tackles and concluded the season with a 55% tackle success rate. 

 

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