163 appearance’s and three consecutive league championships for Paris Saint-Germain. 42 Caps for France and a very realistic chance of winning the Euro’s this summer with the host nation. Blaise Matuidi has had quite the five seasons since moving to PSG from Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2011. Yet if rumours are to be believed, the 28 year old Toulouse native is subject to serious interest from Chelsea, but will the Parisian’s sell and is Chelsea the best fit for Matuidi in the Premier League?
The inevitable rebuilding job at the Bridge has moved up a gear since the announcement of Antonio Conte as the next Chelsea manager this week and with the Italian favouring a 3-5-2 or potentially a 4-3-3, flexibility will be crucial for any potential summer signing arriving at Cobham this summer.
Matuidi has energy coming out of his ears and knows where to time a tackle. In PSG’s trifacto across the park, Verratti dictates the pace; Motta sits deep and breaks up player whilst Matuidi is there to supplement all of Laurent Blanc’s attacking riches whilst providing the necessary cover if PSG are ever on the back foot.
A formidable box-to-box midfielder is potentially lacking in the Stamford Bridge set up. Whilst Matic and Mikel tend to sit back and protect the defensive line, with Fabregas offering an eye for an incisive pass, Matuidi would potentially fit like a hand in glove if Conte decides to start out with a 4-3-3. In a 3-5-2 however, is Matuidi the missing piece of a puzzle? In Conte’s revered Juventus side, Pirlo often dropped deep to dictate play, Vidal would break it up and Pogba would provide that little bit of sparkle. Chelsea currently lack the all-important Pirlo-esque hole of a deep lying playmaker whilst Matic or Mikel could offer up at least a stop gap solution for Vidal.
With this in mind, is Chelsea the best option for Matuidi if he looking for pastures new? Surely, a team that would be interested in the Frenchman would be Manchester City and Pep Guardiola.
With Guardiola evolving this season from the all pressing tika-taka of Barcelona to a more direct, wing based fluidity at Bayern Munich, what next season’s incarnation of City may look like is anyone’s guess but it is evident too all that the City midfield is light in both dynamism and competence.
Matuidi’s ability to both break up play and be effective in the more advances positions (whether that be through passing ability or pressing) sees him ideally suited to for a Guardiola midfield. With the likes of De Bruyne and David Silva automatic starters, Yaya Touré almost definitely leaving, Guardiola will have the likes of Fernando, Fernandinho and Fabien Delph as his midfield options and the dynamism, capability and clear winning mentality would see Blaise Matuidi offer a new depth to Manchester City.
Whether it be City or Chelsea, Matuidi would be a fantastic signing for either potential title charger and whilst PSG may be tempted to re-coup £39 million for their next potential French ‘galatico’ (to potentially replace Ibrahimovic), selling Matuidi surely would make the French champions all the weaker for his departure.
Rich, The Sweeper Football Blog