Ricardo Rodriguez: Is he a proper successor to Ashley Cole at Chelsea?

Antonio Conte will be in charge at Chelsea after his Euro stint coming to a close, with his Italy side impressing so far at the tournament grabbing a fine 2-0 victory over holders Spain in their wake.

Given the ex-Juventus manager’s love of the 3-5-2 formation, attention has now turned to who he might buy in order to fit the system.


Rodriguez in a nutshell

At the moment, the inexperienced Baba Rahman is probably best-suited to the role of left wing-back, though it is thought that the Stamford Bridge outfit are interested in Ricardo Rodriguez.

Despite being just 23 years of age, the VfL Wolfsburg defender already boasts 40 caps for Switzerland, helping them to keep two clean sheets in three games at Euro 2016.

Like Chelsea in the Premier League, the German outfit struggled to find their best form in the Bundesliga last season, meaning that Rodriguez’s defensive statistics were on a similar level to those of Rahman.

The marauding full-back continued to impress going forward, however, weighing in with his 12th and 13th goals of the previous three top-flight campaigns, as well as a trio of assists.


Is he the right man for Chelsea?

On paper, yes. Ricardo is one of the best left-backs in Europe at the moment. Impressive and a threat in the attacking third, and defensively sound.

In addition, Chelsea have been on the lookout for a proper replacement for Ashley Cole at the left back position.

As we all know, Cole was quite possibly the best left-back in the world at his prime and was one of the pillars behind Chelsea’s momentous success under the Abramovich era culminating in a long overdue Champions League triumph.

They’ve tried with the excellent Filipe Luis, but the Brazilian left after a single season returning to Atletico. The Blues signed the aforementioned Baba, but he hasn’t really left an indelible impression.

It was only his first season, so maybe a bit more time would be welcoming? I think a loan move to a Premier League side may be a decent option and a highly-sought after player like Rodriguez isn’t someone you can easily turn down.

The Swiss international is simply ready for a big move. It’s been a while coming. He has all the capabilities to succeed in England. Stamina, excellent crossing, good eye for goal, and very sound defending.

All welcoming and desirable qualities in a full-back.


Another positive….

With a left-back sorted, Azpilicueta can be re-positioned as a right-back, which would mean relegating the aging Ivanovic to a squad role.

The Serb was once one of the best full-backs around, but he was much maligned and unimpressive last season.

It’s time to freshen up an aging back-line and a genuine rising star in Rodriguez would be a heck of a start and statement.


Written by the folks at Kickoff

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