Premier League heavyweights Chelsea are monitoring the progress of young German defender Niklas Sule, and are set to be rivalled by Everton for the signature of the Hoffenheim man
Chelsea and Everton have experienced contrasting fortunes in the last couple of months. Both clubs have gone in opposite directions in the Premier League table in this period, with Chelsea having romped to the top of the table with seven wins in a row since a humbling 3-0 loss at Arsenal at the end of September.
Everton, on the other hand, have been on the way down and currently lie in seventh, with just one win in a period that saw them get humiliated 5-0 at the hands of Antonio Conte’s men.
According to English outlet Daily Mirror, Chelsea and Everton could enter the market for a centre-back in the January transfer window. Both clubs have been linked with a slew of defenders in recent weeks, and as per Mirror, both are set to firm-up their interest in Germany international Niklas Sule with a bid for the towering centre-back.
Sule has impressed one and all since rising up the ranks at Hoffenheim, and is rated as one of the most promising defenders in Europe. Having made his debut for Die Kraichgauer in 2013, the 21-year-old is already nearing 100 appearances in less than 3 seasons at the club. And his exploits for his club have also seen him earn a maiden cap for the national team earlier this year.
Sule also represented his country in the Olympics and won the silver medal at Rio after losing to host nation Brazil. He has only gone from strength to strength from the start of this season, helping Julian Nagelsmann’s side to an unbeaten start – they are one of only three undefeated teams in Europe – with solid displays at the heart of the Hoffenheim defence.
Chelsea enquired about Sule in the summer transfer window, but were reportedly (via ESPN FC) rejected by the defender as he chose to stay in Germany to continue his development. The Blues look set to make a move for Sule once again, as Antonio Conte looks to boost his options at the back.
With John Terry being unable to break back into the side and seemingly on the wane, and Kurt Zouma still some way from making his return, the acquisition of Sule could be a masterstroke to keep the incumbent back-line of David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill on their toes.
Everton boss Ronald Koeman himself is short on central defensive options after the departure of John Stones to Manchester City, with captain Phil Jagielka, Ashley Williams and Ramiro Funes-Mori as the only senior centre-backs. The move for Sule will, therefore, be seen as one that will significantly improve the Toffees defence.
It remains to be seen though, whether either the London or the Merseyside Blues make a move for the Sule, or if Hoffenheim manage to keep hold of the talented youngster.