Friday, 13 June 2014

£30M Rated Ace Wanted By Chelsea

£30M Rated Ace Wanted By Man City & Chelsea

Mehdi Benatia is headed to London, according to the Daily Star, with the Moroccan international set to snub champions Manchester City, in favour of a move to Chelsea. Although the article contains no quotes attributed to Benatia, or anyone else for that matter, it does pose an intriguing question, who requires his services more?
Standing at over six feet tall, the Roma centre-back wouldn’t struggle with the physicality of the Premier League, although in reality his game relies more on tactical awareness and positioning than all-out strength.
He notched five goals in his first season as a Roma player, having joined in the summer from fellow Serie A side Udinese for €13.5 million, highlighting his danger at set-pieces. More impressive is the fact he was the leader of a defensive unit that only conceded twenty-five goals all season, compared to Manchester City’s thirty-seven, and Chelsea’s twenty-seven.
Jose Mourinho rightfully gained plaudits for the way his Chelsea side defended last season, in particular centre-back pairing John Terry and Gary Cahill. Cahill in particular has developed into a world-class centre halve, under the tutelage of both Mourinho and Terry.
The only issue is, at the age of 33, John Terry cannot continue to play thirty-four games a season, as he did last campaign. Benatia would alleviate the pressure on Terry, with the potential for a two games on, one game of policy, that was used when Chelsea played Branislav Ivanovic, Terry and Cahill at centre-back. When Terry eventually retires, the likes of Kurt Zouma and Tomas Kalas can also step into the first-team fold, in his abscence.
Manchester City’s need for a centre-back is more obvious. With Matjia Nastasic’s knee injury keeping the talented youngster on the sidelines, and Joleon Lescott departing Manchester City on a free, Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis are the only senior centre-backs at the club.
Similarly to the situation with Terry at Chelsea, Manuel Pellegrini will be concerned with how many games Demichelis was required to play last season, meaning a defender becomes a priority in the transfer window.
In truth, both teams would benefit from the services of Benatia, a marvellous defender, although with their lack of adequate defensive options, Manchester City are slightly more needy.
Benatia would be a brave man to turn down Manchester City with the expectation of joining Chelsea, and the lure of London is not as bright as it once was, in this cosmopolitan age! He will excel in the Premier League, so let’s hope someone is able to wrap up a deal.