Chelsea have emerged as the latest club to join the race to sign AS Monaco starlet Fode Ballo-Toure, who is also courted by Bundesliga giants RB Leipzig and Schalke.
According to Foot Mercato, as translated by The Sun, RB Leipzig and FC Schalke could face fresh competition from Chelsea in the pursuit of Fode Ballo-Toure. The AS Monaco starlet has raised a lot of eyebrows with his performances in this past Ligue 1 season.
Chelsea, in particular, have identified Ballo-Toure as an ideal alternative for their long-term target Ben Chilwell. The Leicester City defender is one of the most sought-after players in England. However, his reported £60 million price-tag is too much for the Blues.
As a result, manager Frank Lampard has set his sights on Ball0-Toure. The AS Monaco left-back has flourished under new coach Roberto Moreno, who has utilised him in a deeper role. And the move has paid off, with the ex-Lille star playing a critical role in the club’s steady recovery under the Spanish mastermind.
What makes Ballo-Toure such a sought-after talent in France is his work-rate. The Frenchman is capable of moving up and down the pitch and providing ample support going forward. He also has tremendous tenacity, notably attempting 2.4 tackles per game this season, as per WhoScored.
Moreover, the 23-year-old is known for his physical attributes that could make him an ideal fit for English football. And for Chelsea, he would appear as an excellent alternative for the underperforming duo of Marcos Alonso and Emerson.
Both the stars have either struggled with injuries and have lacked form for most part of their careers at Stamford Bridge. Their inability to provide assurance in defence has caused the Chelsea backline to become susceptible. In fact, only Burnley and Tottenham have conceded more goals than the Blues in the top half of the league table.
So it is fair to assume that Ballo-Toure will be more suited to Lampard’s attacking game at Chelsea. While the Frenchman can provide defensive backup with his tenacity and pace, he is also capable of threading in crosses from the wider areas of the pitch, thus making him a viable option for the Premier League giants.
However, Chelsea could face stiff competition from both RB Leipzig and FC Schalke, with the latter, in particular, desperate to sign a left-back. The Royal Blues signed Juan Miranda on loan in January, but the Barcelona youth product is yet to impress in the Bundesliga.