Exasperated with Augsburg’s demanding of a transfer fee only Chelsea could insist upon for Abdul Baba Rahman, Chelsea have turned their attentions to Turkey as they attempt to replace Filipe Luis.
Galatasaray’s Alex Telles is the alternative they’re contemplating, a player whom the Daily Mail report would cost £8m, almost half the amount his Ghanaian counterpart is valued at.
Telles is Brazilian, but possesses an Italian passport and is lauded for his expansive approach to full-back play.
Few attack-minded defenders curry favour with Jose Mourinho, but the 22-year-old’s Super Lig showings last term suggest the Blues boss could yet eradicate these offensive inclinations from his game.
Across his 22 outings in the Turkish top tier, Telles recorded averages of 2.2 tackles and 2.7 interceptions per match.
Compare these to recently sold Chelsea left-back Luis, who dispossessed opponents 3.1 times per outing across his 15 Premier League appearances and intercepted just 0.9 stray passes.
The contrast indicates that while the Brazilian international may be the superior tackler, his uncapped compatriot possesses greater positional nous, thus enabling him to make more interceptions and reducing his need to engage advancing attackers.
An area where Telles will need to improve if he is to force a way into Mourinho’s side is his passing.
Just 78.9% of his attempts to find a teammate in league matches were accurate, some way short of the 86.3% recorded by potential predecessor Luis.
Mitigation for such a substandard rate could be that the youngster attempts more forward passes in the final third, where the risk of giving the ball away is obviously greater, whereas his countryman favours shifting possession to the nearest colleague.
Such a style is in keeping with Mourinho’s safety-first modus operandi and a few months under the Portuguese’s guidance is likely to bring Telles round to this way of thinking, enabling his pass-completion figures to soar.
As it stands though, the bookies doubt he’ll be turning out at Stamford Bridge in the near future, going 2/5 he’s still at Galatasaray by the close of the current transfer window, as opposed to 7/4 saying he’s a Chelsea player.