Chelsea are ready to rival Tottenham Hotspur in the pursuit of AC Milan star Franck Kessie, according to Calcio Mercato. The midfielder has impressed in the Serie A for the past couple of seasons and a move could be on the horizon, especially with Chelsea keen to bulk up their midfield department this January.
However, they could face stiff competition with Tottenham Hotspur also interested in his services. But is Kessie really a viable option for the Blues?
Franck Kessie: player profile
Kessie is advertised as a box-to-box midfielder, who, much like N’Golo Kante, likes to break up the play using his aggression and tenacity. Although the 22-year-old has averaged just over one tackle per game this season, it’s his pressing which comes in handy.
Indeed, his willingness to press the opposition has reinvigorated the Milan midfield in the past couple of seasons. Kessie is also a good reader of the game and averages almost one interception per game.
However, what makes him such an intriguing player is his relentless stamina as he can cover a lot of ground throughout the 90 minutes. This is fiercely combined with his robust gameplay that makes Kessie one of the most effective box to box midfielders in the Italian top flight.
In addition, the 22-year-old has a good turn of pace and he also boasts of a respectable passing accuracy of 88% while providing an astonishing 1.8 key passes per game – a tally only bettered by Suso this season.
Why do Chelsea need Kessie?
Chelsea already have a powerful midfield, with players like Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic playing at the top of their game this season. However, the Blues lack necessary depth and most importantly, a good cover for star player Kante, who has been an integral part of the Chelsea squad for the past three seasons. This, combined with the fact that Kovacic might leave at the end of his loan spell, signals the need to be well covered in that area from before.
Kessie, in that regard, could be an excellent backup for the Frenchman, although the 22-year-old does need to improve on his tackling.
Aside from being an excellent alternative for Kante, Kessie will be able to provide the much-needed depth, which has proved to be crucial in this long season and the hectic schedule has often resulted in managers making drastic rotations in order to keep the squad fresh.
Furthermore, the AC Milan star is also an indirect threat from set-pieces, despite his relatively short 183 cm frame – thus making him a viable transfer target for Chelsea as they aim to keep up with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur during the second half of the campaign and beyond.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored