Sky Sports pundit Alan Thompson believes that Chelsea cannot afford to miss out on Virgil Van Dijk to any of their top 6 rivals
Chelsea secured a 2-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion on Boxing Day. Goals from Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso in the second half secured a comfortable victory at the Stamford Bridge. With this win, Chelsea closed the gap between them and second-placed Manchester United. The victory also meant that Chelsea kept their 11th clean sheet of the season. However, Antonio Conte is on the lookout for a new centre-defender, despite having the second-best defence in the league.
Gary Cahill’s waning powers coupled with David Luiz falling out of favour has seen Conte sound out Van Dijk as a possible target this January. Liverpool remains the favourites to bring in the Dutchman should Southampton soften their stance. He has been on the bench recently following a string of subpar performances. The fact that he has effectively given up on his Southampton career might force the south coast club into selling him. However, Chelsea must not lose out on another one of their manager’s primary targets to their direct rivals.
Speaking before Chelsea’s match against Brighton, Thompson said, “Van Dijk there, allegedly could be Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool.”
“Now you’re saying about Gary Cahill and there may be a place there and he certainly needs strengthening in that area.”
Chelsea missed out on several of Conte’s top targets this summer. Players like Ross Barkley and Alex Sandro stayed at their clubs instead of moving to the Stamford Bridge. On the other hand, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Fernando Llorente opted to move to other Premier League clubs. Safe to say that Chelsea had a below-par summer.
“If the likes of him [Van Dijk] were to go to one of the other clubs rather than Chelsea, he’d fuming again surely, Conte.”
“Again it would be another target of his that would be missed by the club like Chelsea with so many millions.”
“It would be a put-down to him again. That’s what happened in the summer, they missed out on people. They, the people that matter most, missed out on people.”
STANDARD Chelsea missed out on summer transfer targets because they feared Antonio Conte would be gone by next season Antonio Conte missed out on two of his transfer targets last summer because they did not think he would still be at Chelsea next season. https://t.co/k1b4hzjru2
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Thompson is correct in his assessment that Chelsea missing out on any more of Conte’s targets will infuriate the Italian. His first season at the club was an unexpected success, however, Chelsea board has been unable to provide the required backing to their manager in the transfer market. With the winter transfer window due to open in less than a week, Chelsea board should start working on fulfilling their manager’s wishes.