Chelsea have been tipped to hijack a move for Alexis Sanchez, with Conte determined to get one over on Mourinho. Any deal would involve making him the highest paid player at the club, and ultimately make them one of the strongest teams in the league. But, how would they line up if they were to secure the Chilean?
Conte’s system is bulletproof. Every player is drilled and disciplined in the role, and they understand his methods. The addition of Sanchez would not change that, but it would have knock on effects for certain key players.
In terms of like for like replacements, it’s likely that Sanchez would come in for Pedro or Willian, leaving one, or both of them very unhappy. Both of these players play for the team. They are creative, hard working wide men who allow Hazard to flourish in a free role. They also compensate for Hazard’s ball greedy style of play.
With Sanchez in the team, Chelsea would have a player that is arguably a level above their star man. He works harder, he scores more goals, he gets more assists; but he loses the ball more often. With two big egos with such a similar style of play, Chelsea could actually struggle. The balance within the camp could go, and Hazard could start pushing for that rumoured move to Real Madrid.
But, it’s not just Hazard who would be affected. The 3-4-2-1 system currently allows Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses a lot of freedom to roam forward, and both have excelled, with Alonso currently topping the goal scoring charts for Premier League defenders.
Alonso’s attacking prowess is crucial to Chelsea’s attack, and his link up play with team mates is vital. This link up play often comes with Willian and Pedro, and at times Hazard. It involves releasing the ball early and being ruthless on the counter attack. While, Sanchez is truly world class in almost every area of the pitch, efficient counter attacking is not his strong point.
Alexis has a tendency to hold onto the ball too long, only releasing it to his fullbacks when he has exhausted other options. This is not how Chelsea play football. Their fullbacks are crucial to their width, and their crosses are essential to Alvaro Morata, who thrives off balls into the box. If Alexis is to slow this well-oiled system down, Morata’s weaknesses will be further exposed.
In recent weeks, Morata’s weaknesses have cost Chelsea, and Sanchez does not tolerate poor finishing and sloppy play. His on field arguments with Aaron Ramsey have been there for all to see, and he is selective in the team mates he passes to. If he brings this attitude with him to Stamford Bridge, the knock on effect could be catastrophic to the team.
This move does not make sense for Chelsea at this time. They need a much more team focused player, and a more efficient striker, not a moody South American flair player who wants to play for himself.