Right Back Dilemma

 What a brilliant transfer window we Chelsea fans are enjoying ! We have made some exciting young signings in the form of Marko Marin and Eden Hazard. Latest reports also suggest that Brazilian wonder-kid Oscar has almost signed on the dotted line.  However, a few have left as well, namely, Kalou, Bosingwa and of course King Drogba. So many players are being linked with Chelsea after our famous Champions League victory, that we fans have been left day dreaming about the numerous options we can sign this year. However, Jose Bosingwa’s departure has left us in a considerable dilemma regarding our right back position: Should we sign another Right Back? Maybe after you’ve read this blog you will be clearer on the current ‘Right Back situation’.

Host of players being linked – do we really need them?


Who would have thought that Bosingwa would leave us fans in such a dilemma after his departure? Most fans were happy to see him go, mostly because he turned out to be an average player at the end of his career at Chelsea, and partly because he ruined our Champions League celebrations ( just kidding). He did not live up to the promise he provided in his first season at Chelsea and failed to live up to his reputation. So the club decided to part with him, which leads us to this question –

Do we really need a Right Back ?

Let’s say we all agree on the fact that we don’t need a right back. It would obviously mean that we are happy with Ivanovic in that position. Even though he has stated he would like to play as a Center Back, I think it’s safe to say that Ivanovic offers us a lot more in that position as we already have three class center backs fighting for their place in the starting line-up. Ivanovic, as a right back is amazing in defense. Agreed, he isn’t the best when it comes to attacking, but he can definitely put it some brilliant crosses. Besides that, he is outstanding in the air and will provide us with a lot of chances when it comes to set-pieces. Possibly, one of the best we could have asked for as he can take up the center back duties with considerable ease if required. If we don’t sign a Right Back, we would probably be looking at someone from the Reserves as an apt cover for Ivanovic.

Todd Kane, the 19 year old, rings a bell. He is an excellent youth prospect and has been doing a brilliant job for the Blues since the past two years in the youth ranks. He has all the makings to make it in the first team for the Blues but he lacks maturity. He hasn’t been tested in the Premier League. He might be ready for a few loan spells before he can be considered as an able back-up. Personally, I would say he needs a year more to even reach that level. If Ivanovic is out with an injury, you can’t rely on Kane simply because he is too young.

Looking ahead, we have Sam Hutchinson in our squad. He made a comeback from his chronic knee injury last year and has played twice for the Blues since then. But it’s not certain that his injury has healed completely and a few questions may be raised about his ability to bear the busy schedule at the highest level. Although, on his return he stated that he is working hard with the physios and is making immense progress, it certainly is a gamble to rely on him as a back-up throughout the busy season.

We have our very own long serving defender Paulo Ferreira in our squad who can definitely be a good back-up (defensively speaking) but there is no denying the fact that his best days are behind him. He will soon be 34, and this could possibly be his last season. Some suggest David Luiz should play at Right Back, but I beg to differ. I personally wouldn’t want anyone to play in a position taht he isn’t accustomed to. Many would probably slate me off stating Ivanovic is a Center Back by trade as well but the only thing I would say is, not everyone is Ivanovic. In no way am I saying David Luiz isn’t capable enough, I just feel he will be best utilized in the Center Back position.

This probably explains why we really need a right back in this transfer window, and why that should be our major priority. Who should we sign? We are linked with many class talents from across the globe. However, choosing the right option is another dilemma which Chelsea face. We are linked with Mathieu Debuchy, the French footballer who plays for Lille. He  is a Right back who not only plays high up the pitch showcasing his attacking prowess but also handles his defensive duties rigorously and with confidence. Maicon, as we all know, was one of the best Right Wing Backs of his time, and can be utilized as cover for Ivanovic. He will also offer his experience in our defense. Signing either of these players, would mean that Todd Kane would get an opportunity to stake his claim as the future Right Back for the Blues. It would also provide competition to Ivanovic in the Right Back spot in the shape of Debuchy or Maicon.

Another interesting player we are linked with, is Cesar Azpilicueta. The young Spaniard is touted by many to become one of the best right backs in the future. His potential is lauded by many and the fact that he is equally adept in attacking as well as defending shows that he is a cut above the rest of the players we are linked with. The 22 year old Marseille defender, has time on his side to live up to the expectations. We have a busy season in front of us and it would be foolish to say that Ivanovic will fill in for every game. Azpilicueta can not only be an able back-up but could provide some very serious competition to Ivanovic to claim his spot as well.

However, there are a few complications if we plan to sign Azpilicueta. Todd Kane will have some serious competition. Many of us believe that instead of signing players we should give our youth a chance to stake their claim. No doubt, Kane will get his chance to stake his claim if we sign Debuchy or Maicon, but do either of them give us the quality or promise which Azpilicueta provides? On what cost are we ready to lose a potentially world class right-back which the whole world would envy in the future just to show our faith in Todd Kane? Should we sign Debuchy or Maicon just so that Todd Kane doesn’t have to face serious competition? Or should we just let him prove his mettle against Cesar Azpilicueta? Food for thought.

Udit Momaya

Bcom., MBA Aspirant, Chelsea fan - Blue to the core. Supports the Three lions. Has worked as a community manager in the social media frenzy for various IPL teams.