Chelsea should target French midfielder as Moises Caicedo alternative

Chelsea (Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
Chelsea (Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Chelsea has been negotiating with Brighton & Hove Albion for Moises Caicedo for a long time, and they seem to be making no headway. It is not good for the club to be putting all their eggs in the Caicedo basket. Chelsea is in need of a very good central midfielder to partner Enzo Fernandez.

That midfielder has to be a competent ball carrier, very good tackler, and should have impeccable reading of the game. It also needs to be someone that can be a first choice midfielder if need be, but would not mind being a backup to a more established player.

Chelsea should therefore turn their attention to France, and pursue Troyes’s Rominigue Kouame.

Chelsea must consider Rominigue Kouame

The Mali international played and fought relegation last season, ultimately losing that battle and unable to avoid the drop. According to Sofascore, Kouame completed the second highest percentage of his passes for Troyes last season, and completed the third highest volume of passes. He completed the most dribbles of anyone at the club in the league season, and at an incredible 77% completion rate. He made the second most interceptions too, showing superb reading of the game.

Kouame’s ball carrying is evident in his dribbling numbers, and his passing and possession loss numbers suggest his ball retention was very good, especially for a relagation battling side. He would also be extremely valuable to the Blues in terms of ball progression. His progression numbers through carries have already been highlighted, but he progresses the ball as well through passes, with 14% of his passes being progressive, making 5.7 progressive passes per 90 minutes.

This would not be as essential considering he likely would be playing beside Fernandez, but it shows he is complete as a midfielder, and would be able to perform multiple roles for Chelsea. His superb passing is also highlighted in the fact that he completed 80% of his attempted passes of more than 25 yards, and completed 83% of his attempted passes of more than 30 yards.

His ball winning abilities would also come in handy, winning 64% of his tackles and 56% of his ground duels, while winning the most ground duels per game of anyone at Troyes last season. He’d have much less ball winning to do at Chelsea, but this means that he’d have to be much more accurate in his tackles, duels, and interceptions at Stamford Bridge. Unfortunately he’s not so great at winning aerial duels, but he’s just 1.77m, and there’s not that much he can do about aerial duels at this point.

Kouame has the passing ability, reading of the game and ball carrying ability to be a key player for Chelsea at central midfield, and after being relegated, the Blues should be able to arrange a deal that Troyes would be happy with. At 26 years old, Kouame is in his prime, and it would not be difficult to get the Mali midfielder to agree personal terms.

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Should CFC sign Rominigue Kouame?