Chelsea have had the luck of playing dominant centre-backs in recent years.
En route to winning Premier League titles and lifting other trophies along the way, players like John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic were defensive catalysts to help the team’s cause.
And in recent years, Gary Cahill was able to fill in the void when the two stalwarts decided to leave Stamford Bridge.
Unfortunately, the Englishman has failed to regain the form he had in previous years, leading to many speculations that the Chelsea management may look elsewhere for a possible replacement for the 32 year old.
While Cahill may still be given a chance to bounce back next season, the names below may be possible targets for Chelsea as they look to improve from this year’s performance.
Niklas Süle – Bayern Munich
Currently playing for one of the biggest teams in Europe, Bayern Munich defender Niklas Süle has been seen as a possible long-time replacement of Munich defenders Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels.
Earlier in his career, Süle’s talent has been on display that he had been linked to multiple big clubs during his time at Hoffenheim.
Standing at around 1.95m, the German international is a threat on the air and his size also makes him extremely difficult to tackle in the defensive third of the pitch.
Süle is the complete package as his size and strength has not sacrificed his pace which makes him almost automatically adaptable to the Premier League. He also is a very intelligent defender who knows how to perfectly find his position to intercept possession.
Prized at around €35 million, he should be a very worthy investment for a team looking to regain their dominance in the league.
Kalidou Koulibaly – SSC Napoli
Considered one of the best defenders in Serie A, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly could easily be another target for Chelsea if they are looking for a player who resembles Cahill or Terry in the way they play.
A very composed player, the 26-year-old star is also very dominant as he is tireless as he battles for possession. He is also excellent in the air, despite a smaller stature at 1.87 meters.
Furthermore, the Senegalese international also plays an accurate long ball which can easily lift the pressure off the Chelsea defence especially goal keeper Thibaut Courtois.
The tough part about this is the high price tag on the player, with his valuation being around €50 million. If Chelsea decide to cash in on the defender, he would likely fit in to the Chelsea mould immediately and make his impact as soon as possible.
Toby Alderweireld – Tottenham Hotspur
Last, but certainly not the least, on this short list is Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld.
He has constantly been one of the best players for Tottenham during his stay and is always in transfer talks among the biggest teams in Europe.
A proven commodity in the league, the Belgian needs no adjustment as he has been consistently one of the top defenders in the continent and despite being 29 years old, Alderweireld is still at the top of his game.
He plays rugged and poses close to no weaknesses on the pitch, many compare the Belgian to Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos – which is a very high praise on its own.
Currently rated at around €40 million, Chelsea’s usual mantra of “win now” may result in them raiding their London neighbours as they try to revamp a subpar season especially in the defensive end.
There are certainly other names that are worthy to be on the list but these are three stars that Chelsea should eye if they wish to improve in the defensive third.