Why Chelsea should go back in the market for Daniele Rugani
According to Tuttomercatoweb via Mirror (h/t Football London), Davide Torchia, the agent of Juventus centre-back Daniele Rugani has revealed that Chelsea failed with a £27million bid for his client during the summer window.
The representative has also confirmed interest from London rivals Arsenal, as well as Napoli, Lyon, and Zenit St. Petersburg but none of the aforementioned clubs were successful in matching Juventus’ asking price for the defender.
Rugani, who started only 7 Serie A fixtures for the Bianconeri last season, eventually joined French club Stade Rennes on a season-long loan deal in search of regular game time.
Daniele Rugani spent 13 years in the youth ranks of Empoli between 2000 and 2013 before being transferred to Juventus, where he initially featured for the Primavera side. The centre-back was loaned out to Empoli ahead of their 2013-14 Serie B campaign and Rugani went on to play a key role as his former club secured promotion to the top-flight.
The 26-year-old enjoyed an impressive debut season in the Serie A with Empoli back in 2014-15 before breaking into the first-team picture at Juventus in the following campaign. Rugani, though, has struggled to establish himself as a regular starter over the years due to stiff competition for places in Turin.
He registered only 101 appearances across all competitions over the course of five full seasons before joining Rennes on loan this summer. A full international for Italy since 2016, Rugani has been capped on 7 occasions by his nation so far.
Rugani would be a quality addition to Chelsea’s backline
Chelsea roped in Malang Sarr and Thiago Silva on free transfers to bolster their central defensive unit in the summer after conceding as many as 54 goals in the PL last season. Ben Chilwell also arrived from Leicester City for a staggering £50million as a part of Frank Lampard’s spending spree.
The Blues, though, have endured a rather inconsistent start to their league campaign this time around with 3 wins and 3 draws to go along with a solitary defeat against Liverpool in their seven opening fixtures. They have conceded 9 goals so far, which clearly suggests that the club’s defensive issues are far from over despite some heavy spending in the summer.
Chilwell and Silva have undoubtedly made a positive impression early in the season, but question marks continue to linger over the future of Antonio Rudiger. The German international has featured just once in all competitions so far, with Lampard preferring Silva and Kurt Zouma as his first-choice central defensive pairing.
Andreas Christensen has been dropped from the side after some costly errors against Liverpool and West Brom, while Fikayo Tomori has largely been utilised as a squad option. Indeed, Silva has justified himself as a worthy signing but the Brazilian veteran is only a short-term fix at 36.
Sarr, meanwhile, remains a player to watch out for in the future at just 21 and is currently out on loan at Porto. He still has some way to go before establishing himself in Chelsea’s first-team plans.
To put things into perspective, Chelsea need to reshape their backline even further next summer by moving on some of the underachievers to make room for fresh recruits. And reigniting interest in Daniele Rugani would definitely be a smart idea given the 26-year-old’s reputation as a quality centre-back in Italian football.
Unlike Sarr, Rugani fits the bill as an experienced defender who would offer Lampard some immediate cover at the heart of the defence in the following campaign. An international calibre defender, Rugani looks better equipped to make the transition to Premier League football at 26. He could well be an instant upgrade on Christensen and potentially a long-term replacement for Silva at Stamford Bridge.
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It would be unfair to judge Rugani’s credentials based on his limited game time at Juventus given the presence of other quality players like Matthijs de Ligt and Leonardo Bonucci. Despite that, however, he has still played over 100 games for an elite club in Europe, which clearly lies testament to his quality.
The Italy international still has his best years ahead of him at 26, meaning he could potentially be a game-changer in West London for the foreseeable future. Rugani would have only two years remaining on his current deal at Juventus when he returns from his loan spell. That really opens the door for Chelsea to test the Serie A giants’ resolve with another handsome bid for the centre-back.