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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Chelsea could land Trent 2.0 in Malo Gusto

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Chelsea are preparing an official bid for Olympique Lyonnais’ precocious full-back Malo Gusto, and could make their move in short time with the January transfer window approaching the closing stage…

What’s the latest?

According to outlets in France (via Sport Witness), the Blues are looking to sign Gusto this month and have lodged a €20m (£17.5m) bid, with a golden opportunity to land the budding right-back talent, who is said to have his mind set on a transfer to Stamford Bridge.

And now, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea are preparing a new proposal after agreeing personal terms and seeing their introductory offer repelled by Lyon, who are holding out for more than £35m and would prefer their starlet to remain with them on loan until the end of the season.

In a recent interview with Football FanCast, journalist Pete O’Rourke gave his thoughts on the situation, stating that a move for the 19-year-old marauder makes a lot of sense.

He said: “Another top young player and it does seem that Chelsea are trying to recruit some of the best young players across Europe with what they have done with Mudryk, Noni Madueke as well.

“There is a strategy in place, even though a lot of people might not think that looking from the outside, but they are trying to recruit some of the best young players around and Gusto definitely fits that bill as well.”

Chelsea’s own Trent

Considering Chelsea already wield defender Reece James’ dynamic brilliance down the right flank, slotting Gusto into the fold could provide the west London club with the most formidable duo the position offers across any outfit worldwide.

Frankly, James has a good claim to stake regarding his stature as the Premier League’s best right-back, while Gusto’s ceiling soars high indeed, already flourishing with Lyon in Ligue 1 with fluid regularity.

The Premier League giants must tie down a deal, with James missing 16 matches due to injury this term, while 33-year-old stalwart and club captain Cesar Azpilicueta is approaching the end of his lengthy tenure with the club after years of devoted servitude, his contract due for expiry at the end of next season.

Would Malo Gusto be a good signing?




Gusto, who has made 15 appearances this season, has recorded an average rating of 7.10 in the league, as per Sofascore, completing 85% of his passes and making 1.4 key passes per match, also demonstrating his defensive prowess with 2.1 tackles and 1.5 interceptions each outing.

And as per FBref, the “fantastic” phenom, as dubbed by talent scout Jacek Kulig, ranks among the top 15% of positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues for rate of assists and the top 5% for passes attempted, also within the top 16% for dribbles completed – illustrating a burgeoning ball-playing aptitude that could explode into true prominence of the major stage.

As such, he could very well be Chelsea’s own Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the creative Liverpool prodigy one of the Premier League’s very best at finding defence-splitting passes and changing games in a blink of an eye with his ingenuity.

For the Reds, the 24-year-old Alexander-Arnold has made 252 appearances since rising through the youth ranks, scoring 15 goals and registering an eye-boggling 64 assists.

With the “genius” – as hailed by Goal’s Neil Jones – ranking among the top 2% of full-backs for progressive passes and attempted passes, and the top 3% for shot-creating actions, there are clear similarities between the two full-backs from which Gusto can take inspiration from to blossom into brilliance on English soil.

With Chelsea boasting two of the right-back position’s most devastating forces for years to come, Boehly and technical director Christopher Vivell’s stratagems to slot a step above domestic and continental competitors could emerge into fruition, with the dynamism and magnitude of their might only pointing in one direction: sustained success.

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