The arrival of Jules Kounde appeared a matter of when and not if a few weeks ago. Although nothing drastic has changed on that front, there is undeniably a little bit of concern brewing over a deal that has been in the making for over 12 months.
A lot of the transfer chatter in recent days around Chelsea has focused on attacking additions, rather than the backline which is arguably the area Thomas Tuchel needs most reinforcement.
Kounde would come into improve the right side of Chelsea’s defense, but it is on the other side where questions still remain this summer.
READ MORE:Jules Kounde, Ousmane Dembele –Why Chelsea are yet to sign anyone in the summer transfer window
Links to Josko Gvardiol, Matthijs de Ligt, Milan Skriniar and Nathan Ake have cast doubt over which direction the club will go on the left-side of Tuchel’s defense, especially when you factor in the retuning Levi Colwill who some supporters would like to see promoted ..
Another name linked in recent months that could fill the void is Torino’s Gleison Bremer. Football.london understands Bremer was watched by Chelsea last season and could be viewed as the eventual replacement for Antonio Rudiger.
We took a look at the Brazillian last month and since there have been reports of Inter Milan leading the race to sign Serie A’s defender of the year. Bremer told ESPN “It’s just a matter of time” before he leaves Torino earlier this month. Fabrizio Romano reported that Inter has had an agreement with the defender since January but the final fee is yet to be agreed upon.
As Squawka recently noted in praise of the 25-year-old, the defender made more interceptions than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues in 2021/22 and made more ball recoveries than any other center-back. Going onto note he could be the perfect apprentice for his compatriot Thiago Silva.
Whilst Silva is in a special category of his own, Bremer has certainly proven himself to be a highly effective presence for a mid-table Serie A side. Todd Boehly has been negotiating with Inter Milan over the loan deal for Romelu Lukaku and potentially nabbing a big Inter target could prove a major coup.
The dilemma on the left side coupled with Colwill’s future means that buying an older defender makes more sense for his pathway into the first-team in the coming years. Bremer has similarities to Rudiger in the age and league Chelsea bought him from in 2017. The Torino man has also shown versatility, playing across a back five which could prove very useful to Tuchel over the course of a long season.
The one concern over Bremer is his passing. A comparison to Rudiger last season shows the German’s progressive passes of 4.68 per 90 dwarf Bremer’s 1.77 via FBRef. You also have to factor in Torino’s style of football being less possession reliant than Chelsea, who dominate more matches.
The left-side of Chelsea’s defense is a very interesting question and given the potential of Colwill, looking more seriously at Bremer might offer a cheaper, more aggressive presence to replace Rudiger and refresh a plug a vital gap in the squad.