Leandro Paredes is still officially a Zenit player but whispers of a move to Chelsea have become shouts after he re-tweeted a ‘Welcome to Chelsea’ video.
The Argentinian midfielder is thought to be Chelsea’s main target to replace Monaco’s newest acquisition Cesc Fabregas and the £31.5million deal seems on the verge of going through.
Who is Leandro Paredes? Five key things to know…
- Chelsea are thought to see him as an understudy to Jorginho.
- Paredes spent most of his life, from 2002-2014, at Boca Juniors making his way up through their ranks from youth to professional.
- His move to Russia from Roma hindered his international progress and he was left out of Argentina’s 2018 World Cup squad.
- His patient and accurate passing, both long and short, fit in with Maurizio Sarri’s playing philosophy.
- Chelsea already have a lot of midfield players on the books and might not even need to bring in more at this stage.
Initially asked “Nicolo Barella or Leandro Paredes??” a fan replied: “Leandro Paredes, no debate,” attached to the video which Paredes himself re-tweeted.
With one of the highest number of passes in Russia’s Premier League and with 88% completion, he builds play patiently, favouring a possession-based style.
Often initiating play from a deeper position, he has all the components to fit into Maurizio Sarri’s eponymous ‘Sarrismo’ style of play.
Naturally, Chelsea fans have interpreted the player’s social media post as a clear hint of where his future lies.
Paredes just retweeted on his official Twitter account a “Welcome to Chelsea” compilation 😄🔜✅ pic.twitter.com/QrDRTYa7Fa
— Dumi Drexel (@dumidrexel) January 12, 2019
With the overwhelming majority of fans pleased at the signing, seeing it as all-but done, some are left wondering about the future of players like Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovačić – who many suspect will return to Real Madrid.
Will Chelsea be involved in more transfer action?
Chelsea have already brought in young winger Christian Pulisic and these new moves look set to ease frustrations over the Callum Hudson-Odoi transfer saga with Bayern Munich.
So far Sarri has been quiet surrounding talk of future transfers but made a statement on Saturday by giving Hudson-Odoi 10 minutes against Newcastle despite his recent run of strong performances.
Sarri has maintained he is removed from the transfer process beyond recommending or agreeing to certain players.
On whether Hudson-Odoi should leave he said: “I don’t think so. Why? Because he is an English player, very young. He has a very great future here, with the England national team and Chelsea. To stay here is better for him.
“Have I spoken to him about this? No because I am not in charge of these questions and don’t want to speak to a player on something that doesn’t depend on me.
“Am I happy with that? Yes, I want to speak to him only about the pitch, about movements, the defensive phase and I am really very happy because he is improving that in a very important way in the last month.”
Sarri has remained tight-lipped over signing Paredes although reports claim the club and player have agreed a ‘deal in principle’.
Another question must be whether the team really need another midfielder or not, as one fan points out.
Our midfield options :
— Noah🇮🇪 (@NoahFtbl) January 8, 2019