Gregory van der Wiel: Why Chelsea Should Fight Real Madrid For The Next Cafu
It’s no great surprise that both Chelsea and Real Madrid are sniffing around Ajax’s wantaway defender Gregory Van der Wiel. The 21-year old has been on their respective radars for quite some time along with sustained interest from Arsenal, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Valencia.
The Amsterdam flyer is the personification of the modern day full-back; equally adept at bombing down the flank as nullifying any opposing attacking threat. He is athletic, as comfortable on the ball as you’d expect from someone schooled by de Godenzonen - an academy that still preaches total football - possesses lung-busting stamina and has exceptional positional sense. All previous bids – and reportedly there have been several of a wad that gets accountants licking their lips – have been severely rebuffed but now the player is playing hard-ball over a contract extension. And in a world where business often takes precedence over football concerns that changes everything.
Currently they have Ivanovic and Bosingwa sharing the berth – both are proficient but neither is exceptional.
For Chelsea, well it seems almost far-fetched to suggest that a full-back could be the final piece in a team’s jigsaw, but they need someone who can perform at a level of Cole on the other flank.
Currently they have Ivanovic and Bosingwa sharing the berth – both are proficient but neither is exceptional. The former is much better suited to a central role (indeed he is arguably one of the most under-rated centre-backs around and is a far better companion for Terry than the individual Luiz) while the latter seems to be in a constant three-year flux of proving his gaffer wrong no matter who is in charge.
Not only would the addition of Van Der Wiel allow Ivanovic to step inside he would provide thrust and enterprise down the right flank that has been somewhat missing.
The baby Reiziger already has twenty-five international caps and was one of the unsung heroes of Holland’s advancement to the last World Cup final. There is plenty of experience already stored in such a young, fine-tuned football brain and there is undoubtedly lots more to come as he develops further. Crucially his playing style – and let’s be frank, typically Dutch arrogance – means he will surely settle in the frantic environment of the Premier League.
The only drawback is his price-tag which, for a full-back, is steep at close to twenty million. With City recently announcing record losses – and with one eye on the FFP – they may well baulk at splashing such an amount on a player that will essentially only enhance what they presently have.
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