Bengaluru, July 28: If reports in England are to be believed, Chelsea are interested in signing £45million-rated former Arsenal midfielder Ismael Bennacer from AC Milan this summer although they face strong competition from the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain for the 22-year-old Algerian international.
Bennacer, who was formerly on the books of Chelsea's London rivals Arsenal, has made his name since departing North London for Italy first at Empoli and then at AC Milan. And, just after a season since signing for the Rossoneri, the top clubs in Europe have noticed his progress and now he is linked with some of the biggest clubs in the continent of Europe.
Here, we will take a look at the player and try to analyse whether he would be a good signing at Stamford Bridge or not.
A versatile and gifted midfielder
Ismael Bennacer is a technically gifted midfielder and what takes his stock even higher is his adaptability that allows him to slot in effortlessly in a number of midfield roles. Thanks to his immense ability on the ball, he is tailor-made for playing in a more advanced number ten role and made his name for Empoli in the 'mezzala' role. However, at Milan, he has mostly featured in a deep-lying playmaker role and it is in the 'regista' role in which he has caught the eye of Europe's elite clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester City.
The 22-year-old is technically astute and tactically very much aware which permits him to do justice in whichever role he is deployed in by the manager. And, from what we have seen from Frank Lampard in his maiden season as Chelsea boss is that he is a manager who likes to play the game on the front foot and players like Bennacer would be able to guarantee just that.
A pass master who is defensively solid too
There are not many players in the world who can do it all in midfield but Bennacer looks like a complete midfielder in the making. He is excellent on the ball but is equally good off the ball as well and his eye for a pass is truly special.
This season, the 22-year-old has attempted an average of 56.9 passes per game with 87.9% accuracy. He has also averaged 0.9 key passes and 3.1 long balls per game and from these figures, it is easy to see what he will be able to offer the Blues.
The Algerian international has averaged 2.3 tackles, 1.8 interceptions and 0.5 blocks per game this season which shows that he provides a decent amount of cover for the back four as well. Aldo, thanks to his immense technical abilities, he is pretty press-resistant which is a necessity to succeed in a top team nowadays.
Do Chelsea need him?
It is not hard to see that Chelsea are in dire need of more quality in the middle of the park and with Jorginho likely to depart, a new midfielder should be among Lampard's top priorities. N'Golo Kante is still among the best midfielders in the world but he is not getting any younger and the Frenchman has struggled a lot with injuries this season.
Mateo Kovacic has been a regular feature in the middle of the park for the Blue this season and should remain the most important midfielder at Stamford Bridge next season too but Chelsea certainly need more quality and options and Bennacer would provide exactly that to them. Also at just 22 years of age, the Algerian midfielder can prove to be a long term prospect at the club which makes the deal a no-brainer.