Barely an hour goes by at the moment without Maurizio Sarri and Chelsea being linked to someone.
Today it is Liverpool target, French international Nabil Fekir.
Fekir is the latest player being linked to replacing Eden Hazard if the Belgian does move to Real Madrid. The latest from Madrid was that Real have ended their interest in the number ten, but this is a well-used ploy by the Champions League winners, claiming they have no interest so that the player in question agitates for a move.
Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, has said that Liverpool’s interest in Fekir “appears to be done” and Chelsea have emerged as the favourites to sign the World Cup winner.
But what could that actually mean for Chelsea?
Fekir is a player often talked about but how good is he?
Nabil Fekir Rated in Ligue 1
Using Squawka let’s have a look at how Nabil Fekir ranked compared to the other forward’s in Ligue 1 last season.
As you can see there, Fekir more than held his own in some illustrious company.
Above him was the most expensive player in the world, Neymar and his PSG teammate Edinson Cavani – two players leading the way for the Ligue 1 Champions with that other unknown, Kylian Mbappe, coming in 5th.
The player in 3rd place, Malcom, has just signed for Barcelona somewhat controversially.
So for Fekir to rank 4th, albeit in a league that still has some ‘quality’ question marks hanging over it suggests that Fekir could be a very good signing for Chelsea.
Unlike Bernard or Zaha who it would be hard to claim would be direct replacements for Hazard, Fekir plays in a similar way and could potentially be a like-for-like switch.
So, let us compare him to Chelsea’s number ten.
As you can see, Hazard created many more chances in what must be argued is a tougher league.
However, the players around Fekir were a lot more clinical with the chances he created. Does this mean Fekir created better chances for his teammates or that his teammates were just better in front of goal? Further analysis would be required to dissect this.
Fekir was also more lethal in front of goal himself, outscoring Hazard by five.
Interestingly, Hazard had a far higher total score than Fekir – mainly due to his overall contribution in a team dynamic with areas like successful passes, key passes and shot accuracy.
For Real Madrid to take Eden Hazard is going to cost the best part of £150m. If Chelsea are serious about Nabil Fekir then they must know Hazard is leaving – and to have a ready-made replacement, albeit untested at the next level up, for £65m would represent great business by the club.
If Fekir can pass the medical and adapt to life in England quickly, someone could find themselves with a player that represents very good value in the current market.