With an average age of 29.75 years, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho's first-choice back four of John Terry, David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic and Ashley Cole demands an injection of youth this summer – and Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng could be the perfect summer acquisition for the Blues.
Bayern Munich II coach and midfielder Mehmet Scholl recently revealed that the European champions were close to offloading the Germany international last January, suggesting that his long-term future at the Allianz Arena is far from certain.
This opens a window for Chelsea to bring in a top-class defender nearing the prime of his career for a reasonable price if they move decisively this summer. His arrival would not only revitalise a stale defensive cohort, but he has the necessary defensive qualities to mature into a key figure at Stamford Bridge.
However, Boateng will not flourish unless one of his would-be peers makes way, so Mourinho needs to ask himself whether the presence of club captain John Terry is still galvanising enough to ignore his crippling loss of athleticism.
As JT approaches the twilight of his illustrious career he simply cannot compete with Sergio Aguero, Daniel Sturridge and the like for speed. This glaring weakness cannot be ignored for much longer and Chelsea need to secure a defender like Boateng who can cover the ground quickly enough to gobble up space left behind the former England international.
The 25-year-old has recently found himself involved in the first-team plans of his new boss Pep Guardiola and is closing in on his 100th appearance for the Bavarians since escaping a nightmare stint with Manchester City in 2011.
In consequence, transfermarkt.com values the versatile defender at £17.5m, but his price tag can only decrease ahead of his current deal expiring in June 2015. Mourinho must to throw his hat in the ring this summer to force the player to think twice about signing a long-term contract with the Bundesliga outfit.
Should the Blues engineer a summer swoop for Boateng, his adaptability would provide an invaluable asset. Most of the Blues' current defensive brigade can only operate in one primary position, but due to his devastating blend of speed, power and aerial prowess, the former Hamburg star is capable of slotting into any role across the back line.
Boateng is likely to be deployed in the heart of Chelsea's defence having proved his worth playing as a central defender for the most in-form club in the continent – but his versatility could be put to good use as injuries and fatigue take their toll on a squad currently competing in three major competitions.
Mourinho must rebuild his trusty back four sooner or later, so why not strike this summer while one of the most complete defenders in the world is potentially up for grabs?
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