Radja Nainggolan’s rejection of Chelsea this week reinforced fears that, without Champions League football, the Blues lack sufficient pulling power to lure world-class assets to Stamford Bridge.
It also serves as yet another reminder of how stupid they’d be to rid themselves of Nemanja Matic.
This was a topic news.bwin touched upon yesterday in this article following news that Matic was subject of Juventus interest, with the Old Lady allegedly readying a £17m bid for the midfielder.
Instrumental in Chelsea’s title-winning campaign in 2014/15, the Serbia international fell dramatically down the pecking last time around, but his previous performances suggest the Blues would be mad to discard him so suddenly.
Especially when their lack of European football is preventing them land those they consider top targets.
Nainggolan showed at the Euros that he lacked the defensive prowess to screen a back four as effectively as Matic.
Frequent forays forward brought two fine goals, but in a team laden with attacking talent, he’d have been more use to Belgium simply shielding the rearguard.
Similarly, his previous season at Roma yielded six goals in 35 Serie A appearances, but in terms of tackles and interceptions, he averaged just 1.8 and 1.3 per match respectively – hardly the return of a world-class anchorman.
Former manager Jose Mourinho was clearly at fault for Chelsea’s demise, doubts about the quality of their current group were dismissed by the Blues’ upturn in fortunes following Guus Hiddink’s arrival.
Those on the roster right now have the quality to regain coveted top-four status next season and the installation of Antonio Conte only increases their prospects of doing so.
He proved with Italy he can succeed working with limited resources, nullifying the need to make wholesale personnel changes, as Manchester United have and their 57/100 for a top-four finish confirms as much.