Antonio Conte’s Chelsea have regained their composure and winning mentality despite a largely unsuccessful transfer window. Chelsea go into this international break on the back of two consecutive wins and their star-signing Alvaro Morata has impressed during his time in the Blues’ shirt.
However, Conte’s search for a wingback is not over yet. The West London outfit were linked with Alex Sandro and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain but both the moves fell through. The Arsenal star refused to move away from the Gunners earlier this week and Chelsea did not have much time to find another replacement.
The latest reports claim that Chelsea have made an official bid for Bayern Munich’s veteran fullback Rafinha. He joined Bayern Munich six seasons ago but now has fallen down the pecking order. Carlo Ancelotti prefers to start Joshua Kimmich above the Brazilian and even Rafinha thinks that his time at Allianz Arena is ending. He admitted that he hoped to play more games this season but that does not seem to be a possibility.
Rafinha played for Schalke 04 and Genoa before joining Bayern Munich in 2011. Since then, he has appeared 204 appearances for his club. Last season, the Brazilian made 20 appearances for Bayern and made some decent contributions to his team. He often made some marauding runs down the flanks and supplied good crosses, something he is known well for. Rafinha scored one goal and an assist but created 13 chances in the Bundesliga.
His passing accuracy was an impressive 90%, which suggests that he rarely misplaces the ball. Most of his defensive contribution came via interceptions. (Stats via Whoscored)
Do Chelsea really need him?
It is understandable that Antonio Conte has been frustrated at the Chelsea board’s inability to land his prime targets. The Italian manager wants a new wingback as Victor Moses isn’t a natural right wingback. Though he did well in that role last season, with Champions League football, the club will need good backups and hence the need to add depth is imperative.
It, however, remains a huge concern whether Rafinha would be able to adjust to the pace of the Premier League in his thirties. Alonso played for Chelsea in the same position last year and there has been a certain development in his game. He is quite young and would definitely benefit from his previous experience of playing in England.
Secondly, the quality of football played in Germany and England has a huge gap. Rafinha would have to make many technical adjustments and improve his physical standards to excel in the Premier League. So, if at all they do sign him, he’ll have to buck up.