Chelsea scouts will be sent to monitor Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson during their home game against Arsenal on Saturday.

Chelsea’s defensive issues from their last campaign have continued this season after the Blues failed to acquire any of their top transfer targets in the summer, eventually having to settle for Marcos Alonso and re-signing David Luiz. After having failed to register a single victory in September, Conte was forced to tweak his defensive formation and has since seen an improvement in results.

But the Italian will be well aware that using a 3-man defence with the squad currently at his disposal isn’t a viable long term option, and immediate and quality reinforcements are mandatory. One of the many defenders that Chelsea have an eye on include Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson.

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - AUGUST 21: Adnan Januzaj of Sunderland takes on Ben Gibson of Middlesbrough during the Premier League match between Sunderland and Middlesbrough at Stadium of Light on August 21, 2016 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND – AUGUST 21: Adnan Januzaj of Sunderland takes on Ben Gibson of Middlesbrough during the Premier League match between Sunderland and Middlesbrough at Stadium of Light on August 21, 2016 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

According to the Daily Mail, the Blues will be sending their scouts to monitor the 23-year-old Englishman on Saturday, when Middlesbrough welcome Gunners to the Riverside Stadium. Arsenal are in stellar form, with the likes of Ozil, Sanchez and Theo Walcott putting in superb displays week in and week out.

After a slow start to the season with a loss to Liverpool and a draw against Leicester City, they have set the Premier League alight with their brand of attacking football and they are arguably the best attacking side in England’s top flight at this moment. So it is no surprise that Chelsea would like to see how Gibson fares against the very best the league currently has to offer.

Gibson would provide a long term option, while also keeping their quota of home-grown talent in check. He has impressed for Airtor Karanka’s side this term in the Premier League and is reportedly a serious contender for a place in the England squad for their next match against Spain.

Since breaking into the Boro squad after loan spells at Plymouth Argyle, York City and Tranmere Rovers, he has gone on to make over 120 appearances for the Yorkshire club, establishing himself as a key player for them in the process.

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