Oh, Chelsea. Another transfer rumour, really?
BBC Sport are claiming that Chelsea have now made a move for Internazionale’s midfielder, Matias Vecino – a player that Maurizio Sarri has managed before in his time at Empoli.
This summer feels a little bit like the season when Roman Abramovich first came to Stamford Bridge with transfer rumours all over the place – the question is, will Chelsea actually sign any of them?
The club have been linked to (take a deep breath); Bernard, Wilfried Zaha, Gonzalo Higuain, Mateo Kovacic, Jordan Pickford, Christian Pulisic, Mateo Kovacic, Nabil Fekir, Leon Bailey, Daniele Rugani and many more in the last couple of days alone.
So, what do we actually know about Matias Vecino?
Matias Vecino is a right-sided midfielder capable of playing in the middle. In Sarri’s 433, you could expect to see Vecino in the middle or in the Jose Callejon at Napoli role on the right of the three attackers – but more as a creator than a finisher.
Vecino is a Uruguay international who could be being lined up to replace Willian – the rumoured fee is £31m.
Serie A last season
As you can see from ou Squawka Index, Vecino was not in the top ten midfielders in Serie A last season which immediately makes this proposed move curious.
At least five of the midfielders on that list are ‘gettable’ for Chelsea – Gomez, Luis Alberto, Josip Illicic, Iago Falque and Jordan Veretout would be players where Chelsea could play the ‘bigger club’ card with ease. Torreira has already joined Arsenal and Jorginho has, of course, signed for Chelsea.
So what is it about Vecino that means Chelsea are prepared to stump up the cash?
I’ve chosen to compare Matias Vecino to Alejandro Gomez, Willian and Victor Moses.
The stats are considered on a per 90 basis.
As you can see, Matias Vecino more than holds his own in this company and the total score looks a little misleading.
Vecino isn’t the biggest creator of chances as you can see, creating 1.01 chance per 90 compared to 3.12 by Gomez and 2.86 by Willian. Moses comes in last with just 0.86 but it is worth remembering he was playing as a right-wing back but, we’d imagine, would be considered a right-wing option by Sarri this season.
Sarri likes his teams to pass forward at every opportunity, so the total forward passes per 90 stat is of real interest – Vecino wins this by a mile with 42.15 forward passes per 90.
Considering how many passes are played into forward areas, the 88% pass completion is impressive too.
Initially, I was sceptical but, as can be the case when you dig a little deeper, Matias Vecino could be a good fit for Chelsea and Maurizio Sarri. He knows the player and the player will know Sarri’s system. The important data matches what Sarri looks for. £31m in this market for a seasoned international player coming from a club like Inter is not over the top.
Chelsea might actually have found some excellent value here.