It’s 2018 and for football fans and the January transfer window is finally open. This is the window where teams right the wrongs of the previous summer. After storming to the Premier League title last season, Chelsea are an outstanding 17 points off the top of the table. To dampen the embarrassing nature of this failed title challenge, Antonio Conte must capitalise on this transfer window and strengthen his starting XI, not just his squad.
With rumours of Eden Hazard going to Real Madrid getting stronger by the day, Chelsea are in dire need of a superstar attacking replacement, and Yannick Carrasco perfectly fits that bill as the Belgian is a similar mould of player to his national counterpart.
Here’s what Yannick Carrasco could bring to Stamford Bridge.
Yannick Carrasco has always been a highly-touted prospect in European football, but his name has never done the rounds like Eden Hazard, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappé or Paulo Dybala. But in all fairness to him, he has the ability to match all of those superstars. Yannick Carrasco’s only problem is being able to reach those soaring heights he once set for himself constantly.
This season, Carrasco has been productive but not electrifying, he’s directly contributed to 6 goals in his 12 La Liga appearances, granted 7 of those were from the bench. In his 607 minutes of playing time, the 24-year-old has also created 12 chances for his teammates. The man he’s set to replace, Eden Hazard, has scored 5 goals and assisted twice in 17 league appearances.
What does Yannick Carrasco excel at?
The Atletico Madrid winger has often been cited as a benchmark for dribbling in world football. Carrasco uses an exceptional blend of pace and skill to beat his opponents. Combine that with his death-defying agility, and you have an unstoppable machine on your hands. In the Premier League, his pace accompanied by world-class control would put the fear of God into most opposing full-backs.
It’s not just in attack that the Belgian excels, because of his current manager Diego Simeone, Carrasco has developed a relentless defensive work rate. Off the ball, he presses like a monster and will never show any lapses in concentration. Despite being an integral part of Atletico’s attack, Yannick ensures he always tracks back down the flanks.
Does he need to work on anything?
However, for all his good traits the 24-year-old is far from perfect. His decision-making has often been highlighted as a point of concern. Yes, he has the ability to beat two or three players at a time, but he regularly holds onto the ball for too long, often gifting it back to the opposition. He’s ruined many a counterattack through his inefficiency on the ball and laboured decision making.
With all this said, Yannick Carrasco would ultimately cost Chelsea a fee more than £60million and in today’s market that’s a steal. Yannick Carrasco would seamlessly fit into Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3, and with Willian or Pedro on the other side, Chelsea would definitely run Manchester City closer than anyone else in the league.