While credit has to be given to Arsenal for their performance at the weekend, once again Chelsea’s defensive unit seemed a mere shadow of what they once were. Excluding last season’s dismal campaign, this is the worst start Chelsea have had to a Premier League season in terms of goals conceded (10).
And given that this is an ageing side, Blues boss Antonio Conte is reportedly considering a complete restructure of his back-four.
It was no secret that Conte wanted to add Leonardo Bonucci and Kalidou Koulibaly to his squad in the summer, but after failing to agree deals for the pair, he instead rather questionably opted for David Luiz and Marcos Alonso.
While Luiz brings experience at the highest level, at 29, he’s certainly not a long-term solution for the Blues.
So who are the latest names to be linked with a move to the four-time Premier League winners?
The Burnley defender has impressed a whole host of Premier League clubs in recent months, but Chelsea scouts see the 23-year-old as the heir to John Terry’s throne.
Keane represented Burnley on 44 occasions during their Championship-winning campaign last year, scoring five goals in the process, and the former Manchester United man has been pushing for an England call-up since he moved to Lancashire back in 2014.
While transfermarkt.co.uk value him at £6.8m, he does have another two years remaining on his contract, and should an England call-up come in the next few months, there’s every chance Chelsea may have to fork out in excess of £20m for the centre-half.
While he’s only 23-years-old, Gibson has already played in the top five tiers of English football, and it’s easy to see why the Middlesbrough defender has caught the eye of Chelsea scouts.
He hasn’t missed a minute of top-flight football for Boro so far this season, and his goal at the weekend against Tottenham emphasised his aerial threat going forward, too.
Like his compatriot Keane, Gibson’s recent contract extension means Chelsea can expect to pay a considerable amount more than the £1.7m transfermarkt.co.uk value him at, but in a division where money is seemingly no object, could Conte add the Nunthorpe-born lad to his ranks in January?
So will this English pair be heading to London as early as January? An increase in speculation coupled with a shaky start means we wouldn’t be surprised if Conte adds to his defensive unit at the earliest opportunity.
Are these the players Chelsea should be looking at? Have your say in the comments section below.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing