After a dismal campaign in 2015-16, Chelsea have already started making plans for next season and with a new regime under Antonio Conte, the Blues faithful are hoping the club regain their place among the elites of world football sooner rather than later.
Incoming manager Conte has detected the issue that has stopped the Londoners from being at their best all season, pinpointing a lack of quality in midfield.
However, with the advent of next term, Chelsea will definitely want to see an upturn in their fortunes. They have been in negotiations for Roma ace Radja Nainggolan, though The Guardian reports the Serie A side have turned down a bid of £23million.
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Nonetheless, according to Goal.com, a £28million deal is possible, and he would be given a five-year deal. But what does he bring to the former Premier League champions that would set him apart as a player of peerless quality and potential?
In midfield, Nainggolan can fill in for more than one position, adding depth to the squad. He can play as a lone holder, on either side of a diamond, and out wide on both flanks.
Nainggolan is a player who would fit the Conte mould perfectly, despite not being formerly accustomed to English style of play.
He has played all his professional football in Italy, but the physical nature of the game in England would suit his technique, which could make him an instant success.
An imposing figure with an aggressive style, tackling has always been one of Nainggolan's key strengths.
A startling decline in the form of Nemanja Matic and John Obi Mikel means that the Belgian would be a welcome addition to the squad long-term.
Averaging 1.9 tackles per game alongside 1.5 interceptions, as perWhoScored.com, the only downside of his game is the amount of fouls he commits, though he seldom gets booked twice.
The ideal candidate to link up the defence with the midfield as well as the midfield and attack, bringing balance to the team, Nainggolan has the potential to become a fan favourite in years to come.
What Roy Keane did for Manchester United, Edgar Davids for Juventus and Michael Essien in his prime at Chelsea, is what can be expected from the 28-year-old Roma star if he begins 2016-17 in Chelsea colours.
Nainggolan has ben the catalyst for Roma's success in recent years thanks to a high percentage of passing accuracy and his ability to find open spaces and look out for goal-scoring chances. He could even bring an offensive style of play to Chelsea, who have preferred a more defensive-minded approach in previous seasons.
With an average of over 3 long balls and nearly 47 passes each match, Chelsea would have an engine in midfield that can direct play for the whole 90 minutes.
Eye for goal
Although many might say the Belgian haven’t scored that many goals to be considered among the prime goal-scorers in the Premier League, Nainggolan has a keen eye for goal, chiefly on the edge of the box. He is one of the ingenious professionals in modern day football.
For Roma, he has amassed 12 goals in 104 appearances over the course of three years, while also netting four while on national team duties.
Always observant without many lapses in defence, the former Cagliari star has scored decisive goals for both club and country.
Despite being sidelined for the last World Cup, Nainggolan has established himself and could even be compared to the likes of Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne.
He is certainly one to watch in the upcoming Euros in France this summer.
What Chelsea boss Conte will be off the pitch, Nainggolan can be on it. The Belgian can easily compliment his manager with the quality he possesses.
His personality, determination and zeal to win would advance the Blues’ progress.
The Italian coach likes 3-5-2 or 4-2-4 formations for his sides, and the 18-cap Belgium international fits into that perfectly.
A creative, tenacious and dominating individual, Nainggolan could become indispensable in the club's midfield.
The Giallorossi value him above £30million.
Despite his current contract still has four years to run till 2020, as reported by Transfermarkt.com, the Blues are keen to do business with the midfield maestro.
A value for money buy, Conte's persistence in recruit Nainggolan could still lead to what would truly be a stellar signing.
Who should Chelsea sign this summer? Have your say in the comments.
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