Gabriel Magalhaes has gone from near unknown to all but done and dusted Chelsea target in just a few days of rumors flying.
Luis Campos made his name at AS Monaco as the French side stormed their way into winning Ligue 1 and deep into the Champions League. Everyone wanted him at their club before he moved to Lille where he has slowly gotten about building a new crop of talented youngsters.
Lille is not where Monaco was yet, but they are making progress as Chelsea saw firsthand in two matches this season. As such, it should be unsurprising to start seeing the Blues linked to players from the French club.
Gabriel Magalhaes was all but unknown at the start of the weekend. Since then the rumors have flown with most saying a deal is at least close (while also not ruling out basically any other English club). But is he really a player Chelsea needs?
It may be best to work backwards in this case and look at what Chelsea currently has in regards to center backs. Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma, and Fikayo Tomori are all good defenders. None of them are great ones. At least two, arguably three, could become great yet but what Chelsea needs at the moment is greatness. Not potential.
So if a side has four good players for what is usually two spots, there is really no need for anything but a great player (and even that likely comes at the expense of one of the good ones). Magalhaes is not that player.
At 22, this is practically Magalhaes debut season at Lille. He worked his way into the side on the back half of last season, but for a side already using young talent all over he is a late bloomer. That alone should not be a disqualifier as Didier Drogba was also a late bloomer in Ligue 1 and that worked out well.
Statistically, he does not stand out in any particular way over the players Chelsea currently has. The potential may be there, but Chelsea does not need potential in center backs at the moment; they need ready to go first team players. Magalhaes simply is not that right now which makes him a redundant signing.
If Chelsea is to be looking at center backs (a low priority target anyways), then they need players that walk into the XI not ones that will have to fight for it and develop. Chelsea has plenty of the latter in the squad already as well as coming back from loan and through the academy. Development is not an issue that needs piled on with more signings at the moment.
This feels like an old Michael Emenalo signing. Magalhaes would come cheap (relatively) and would like turn a profit in a few years. But he is not what Chelsea needs right now. That price tag could be used elsewhere on better players rather than buying for the future Chelsea already has in hand.
Magalhaes could be a fantastic player, but at the moment he seems like a frivolous signing that does not move the needle for the team.