Chelsea may have chalked up four clean sheets in their last five games, but boss Antonio Conte feels there’s room for improvement in the Blues’ defence, and he’s targeting Newcastle United’s Jamaal Lascelles as the man to spearhead their backline.
The 22-year-old centre-back has been the Magpies’ talisman in the Championship this season, with the young captain helping Rafa Benitez’s men record seven clean sheets in their opening 15 games, en route to top spot.
A fierce and committed competitor, the imposing youngster also has an outstanding range of distribution among his many attributes, with a superb 83 per cent passing accuracy for the Tyneside outfit this season.
Combined with Lascelles’ ability to chip in with crucial goals, the former Nottingham Forest man has all the technical ability and leadership qualities to establish himself as the next John Terry at Stamford Bridge.
Oh, and the club where Terry developed by getting his first regular first-team football? Forest.
With the Magpies believed to be willing to part with their star man for the sum of £18m, the Derby-born forward would be well within Conte’s price range – and the west London outfit could move swiftly once the January transfer window swings open.
For now, the Blues will have to continue their impressive run of form without the Magpies man when they host Everton on Saturday.
It’s 11/20 for the hosts to taste victory at Stamford Bridge – a tempting price considering Chelsea have won three of their last four home games against the Toffees.
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