Chelsea: Pochettino could land his own Bruno Fernandes
Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing RB Leipzig midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai this summer and the Hungarian could prove to be incoming manager Mauricio Pochettino’s own version of Manchester United talisman Bruno Fernandes.
Could Chelsea sign Dominik Szoboszlai?
It was suggested back in March that Chelsea were close to completing a deal for the 22-year-old midfielder but transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano would later play down those rumours on his YouTube channel, although he did confirm then that the Blues are interested in signing him this summer.
The journalist stated: “It’s true that Chelsea appreciates the player. Chelsea have sent their people to follow the player, to scout the player but at the moment we can’t say that Chelsea are close to signing Dominik Szoboszlai.”
According to the CIES Football Observatory, the Hungary international is valued at around £52m following an impressive campaign at the Red Bull Arena, which suggests that it would take another mammoth bid from Todd Boehly to bring him in.
What are Szoboszlai’s statistics in 2022/23?
This campaign has seen the young midfielder contribute five goals and eight assists in 29 Bundesliga appearances, averaging a superb 7.33 rating from WhoScored for his performances in Germany’s top flight, with journalist Bence Bocsak dubbing him a “complete player” as a result of his eye-catching displays.
For context, no Chelsea player has contributed more than nine goal contributions (Raheem Sterling with six goals and three assists) this season, while Reece James’ 7.07 average rating sees him ranked as the top performer, which emphasises the quality that Szoboszlai could add at Stamford Bridge.
The regular absence of midfielders such as Mason Mount and N’Golo Kante, as well as the poor form of Conor Gallagher and Mateo Kovacic, which has seen them manage just four goals and three assists between them, has perhaps been one of the main factors in Chelsea’s struggles in front of goal so far this term.
Does Szoboszlai play like Bruno Fernandes?
A creative outlet such as Szoboszlai could prove vital if Pochettino is going to succeed in west London, and he may well be keen to bring him in given his similarity to Fernandes, who he was desperate to sign during his time at Tottenham Hotspur.
According to FBref, the Portuguese maestro is the most similar player to Szoboszlai when compared to other midfielders across Europe’s top leagues.
This season has seen the two register remarkably similar statistics in attacking areas, notably with regard to goals per 90 minutes (0.19 vs 0.18), progressive carries across the season (74 vs 78) and goal-creating actions (both 17).
Given Fernandes’ immense success at Old Trafford, which has seen him register an impressive 61 goals and 54 assists in 181 appearances, Pochettino would surely appreciate a similar player at Chelsea as he looks to kickstart a huge turnaround ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.
Therefore, Boehly should be doing everything he can to bring in Szoboszlai this summer, as he looks to continue the youthful revolution at Stamford Bridge.