Chelsea target Malo Gusto (Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
After rejuvenating the attack, Chelsea have now shifted their attention to the right back and midfield positions. Reece James is currently sidelined because of a knee injury and Cesar Azpilicueta doesn’t provide the same attacking threat while going forward. To combat this issue, Chelsea are looking at Olympique Lyon right back Malo Gusto.
James’ injury against Bournemouth forced Chelsea to reconsider their transfer plans in January and also put a right back on their short list. Gusto has emerged as a target for the Blues and the London club are in talks with Lyon.
In fact, a verbal opening bid has been rejected by the Ligue 1 club who want to keep hold of their 19 year old starlet until the summer. On the player’s part, Gusto has already agreed personal terms with Chelsea on a long term deal and is open to moving to Stamford Bridge in January.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea will push for Gusto this week after the first bid was rejected. Gusto is already dreaming of playing in the Premier League and is keen to move to the Stamford Bridge tenants. The explosive 19 year old is an ideal right back that Chelsea must have.
Full backs are of great importance in Graham Potter’s system. Since the injuries to James and Ben Chilwell, Chelsea have struggled and one of the reasons has been the lack of desired output from the full backs. With Chelsea now targeting Gusto, some parallels can be drawn between him and James.
Like the Englishman, the Lyon right back also likes to venture forward to supplement the Lyon attack. Defensively, the 19 year old is adept at negating the strength of opposition wingers and winning back possession through well timed challenges.
He supplies energy on the right flank and is well embedded into the passing system. The Frenchman doesn’t shy away from receiving the pass in tight pockets and is comfortable with ball at his feet. With Noni Madueke’s pace injection on the right, the duo could wreak havoc on the opposition defence.
Gusto prefers to swing in pin-point crosses rather than cutting inside or drilling the balls aimlessly into the danger area. In fact, the 19 year old has registered most crosses in the penalty area (25) in Ligue 1 and Europe’s top five leagues.
With a blend of relentless energy and positional awareness, Gusto is definitely a player to look out for. At 19, he has time on his side to develop further and Chelsea could give him the right platform to blossom and develop into one of the finest right backs in Europe.
He is valued at £13.2 million by Transfermarkt but it is unlikely that Lyon will sell their asset for such a cheap price.
Will CFC manage to sign Malo Gusto?