In pictures: Aston Villa v Chelsea
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Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel could be looking for a new left-back in January amid fears Ben Chilwell will miss the rest of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Express Sport identifies four options the Blues could explore as they desperately search for reinforcements in the New Year.
Lucas Digne has played a crucial role for Everton since joining the club from Barcelona in 2018.
However, the 28-year-old has fallen out of favour under Rafa Benitez, who is close to signing Dynamo Kyiv left-back Vitaliy Mykolenko as his replacement.
Digne could push for a January exit, and the prospect of challenging his Spanish compatriot for a starting spot at Chelsea is an exciting proposition.
Considering Mykolenko’s imminent arrival, Everton might not demand a hefty fee despite his contract’s 2025 expiry.
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Before Chelsea opted to sign Chilwell in a £50million deal in 2020, Nicholas Tagliafico was another left-back on Frank Lampard’s shortlist.
After the Ajax star’s prospective move to Stamford Bridge fell through, West Ham United targeted his services.
However, Tagliafico remained in the Netherlands and is out of contract in 2023, which could tempt Ajax to part ways.
Aged 29, he poses as a solid short-term fix with Champions League experience.
In Tuchel’s system, left-wing-backs must boast attacking qualities, and few in Europe do so more than AC Milan’s Theo Hernandez.
The 24-year-old has taken his game to the next level since joining Milan for just £13.5m in 2019 and would undoubtedly demand a significant fee.
If Chelsea have the funds available to them, they could pursue Hernandez next month and secure a world-class, long-term option.
But it could cause a rift with Chilwell when he returns, given he’s a similar age to the France international.
Sergino Dest, naturally a right-back, can play on either side of the defence, and with Barcelona potentially having to offload players in January, Chelsea could pounce.
The Blaugrana may have to generate funds to register new signing Ferran Torres to play in La Liga.
And according to Express Sport sources, Chelsea are weighing up a £30m offer for Dest, who only arrived in Spain from Ajax in 2020.
Dani Alves’ Nou Camp return risks harming the USMNT star’s game time under Xavi, so a Premier League switch could be tempting.
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