Premier League giants Chelsea have been pipped by PSG in the pursuit of Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Leandro Paredes.
According to Telegraph, French champions Paris Saint-Germain are on the verge of securing the services of Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Leandro Paredes, beating Chelsea in the process.
It is believed that both the clubs have agreed to a deal worth around £35 million, which is quite a coup considering the quality of the midfielder. Paredes, will no doubt, be an excellent addition to the PSG setup, especially with Adrien Rabiot set to leave the club.
However, it will be a huge blow for Chelsea as they continue their search for Cesc Fabregas’ replacement. The Blues offloaded the Spaniard earlier this month, with the player signing a three and a half year deal with AS Monaco, leaving Chelsea’s midfield department a bit shallow in terms of depth.
In fact, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante remain the only reliable options for Maurizio Sarri, with Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley largely being rotated around while the Blues are even struggling to find a suitor for the unwanted Danny Drinkwater.
To that end, Paredes could have been an excellent option for the West London giants for a number of reasons.
Even though the Argentine is labelled as a holding midfielder, Paredes is highly known for his flawless passing and excellent chance creation rather than his tackling or his defensive qualities.
He can recycle possession at ease, which is indicated by the fact that only three players have completed more short passes than Paredes in the Russian Premier League this season. But, his game is not only limited to short passes as only two players have completed more accurate long passes than the 24-year-old midfielder.
Moreover, Paredes has averaged over 2 key passes per game this season, which is indicative of his creative prowess and the fact that he can also provide the creative spark going forward.
Therefore, Paredes is ideally suited to Chelsea’s possession-based game under Sarri and the Argentine would have useful in not just providing additional support to the midfielders but in creating chances in the final third, ultimately adding an extra dimension to the Chelsea midfield.
He could have been utilized in the extra midfield slot alongside Jorginho and Kante, with Barkley and Kovacic, who, of course, will depart the club at the end of the season used as cover.
But, with Paredes likely to join PSG, the Blues will now have to shift their attention to other potential candidates in the market as we head towards the final phase of the winter transfer window.