Chelsea: RLC at centreback? Wildcard emergency options at each position

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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – APRIL 14: An injured Antonio Ruediger of Chelsea is given assistance during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield on April 14, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Frank Lampard has put together a squad that is rich in depth, with at least two players hotly contesting every position. But what if, through the wrath of the Injury Gods, no natural player is available for each position?

Frank Lampard has not had the luxury to choose from a fully fit roster, as Chelsea has had terrible luck with injuries. The team has so far coped up brilliantly with injuries, but there is the slightest chance that things can get worse with respect to the injury list.

God forbid, if Chelsea was to lose all the natural players in a position, who would Lampard play? Let’s take a look at the unconventional, wildcard replacements in each position, which could help Lampard put together in extremis. And to keep it interesting, each player can only fill one position, so someone like N’Golo Kante does not have the unfair advantage of being selected at every position.

1. Full back: N’Golo Kante (Alternate: Willian)

N’Golo Kante is the kind of player who could play in every position and perform well. He is just that adaptive. But perhaps the position that would suit him the best (outside of the midfield) is full back.

The primary traits required for the modern full back are defensive solidity, good bursts of pace and above-average crossing abilities. Kante ticks the first two boxes quite easily, and has above-average passing abilities to make up for his crossing deficiency. Kante’s underrated dribbling abilities would be an added bonus.

The more you think about it, the more it becomes clear that Kante could excel in this role. Just imagine Kante pocketing the likes of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe or Raheem Sterling on the wings.

Who knows, even without a bizarre convergence of injuries, maybe this could solve Lampard’s selection headache of fitting N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho and Mason Mount in the same team.

Willian would do wonders on the offensive side of this position and has the defensive work rate to complement it, so he is the next best alternative.

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