The Blues were undoubtedly the best defensive team in the Premier League this season, which is something Jose Mourinho emphasized the importance of from the start of the campaign. However, after having lost two games arguably due to the lack of ability of certain players on his back line, Mourinho is naturally going to want to fix it by making changes in the transfer window.
With John Terry being handed a new, one year contract which was fully deserved after a phenomenal season in which he became the all time top scoring defender of the Premier League era, there is no doubt he will start at centre back and captain the side once again next season.
The second starting spot is where Mourinho will want to make his first addition of the summer. Chelsea only have three centre backs with legitimate Premier League experience to begin with, and one of them is fresh off the back of his first season in the division at age 20.
Mourinho realises this and will want to bring in a tough centre back, with pace and enough first team experience to start alongside Terry. One player who fits the description is Raphael Varane. Like Kurt Zouma, he is a young French international who boasts great size, pace, and physicality. The one advantage that Varane, 22, has over Zouma is experience simply by virtue of coming onto the international scene earlier.
Mourinho will no doubt be interested in bringing Varane to West London as the Frenchman will not only fit into the starting eleven immediately but also conceivably be able to fill Terry’s position as leader of the back line when the captain retires.
The concept of having Terry and Varane as the starting two centre backs, with the young Kurt Zouma and experienced Gary Cahill as back ups will be nothing less than music to the Portuguese manager’s ears.
However, it is easier said than done and if the Blues decide Varane is their man, they are more than likely going to have to fork out a large sum of money to the Spanish giants who will be reluctant to lose the talented defender. If for whatever reason Mourinho decides he doesn’t want to go with Varane, or if Abramovich concludes the price tag is too high, which very rarely happens, another viable option to add depth to the center back department would be Everton’s, John Stones. Multiple reports have recently claimed that Jose Mourinho is an admirer of the youthful Englishman, and that he sees him as a less expensive alternative to Raphael Varane.
While Stones may not be an immediate starter or offer the same skill set at this point, he is still a very quick, intelligent defender with a bright future that would add quality to the core of Chelsea’s defense.
Regardless of which center half Mourinho decides to bring in this summer, it has become clear the position is one of his main priorities as he looks to make changes.