How will defender Axel Disasi fit into Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea team?

Chelsea (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Chelsea (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images) /

According to reports on Sunday, Chelsea Football Club has agreed to a deal with Monaco for defender Axel Disasi, but how exactly does the French international fit?

While Chelsea still fights to find the right player to sit alongside Enzo Fernandez in the middle of the pitch, it looks like the Blues have found some more help in central defense. According to both Fabrizio Romano, and David Ornstein, French international defender Axel Disasi will move to west London from Monaco for €45m. Both Manchester United and Newcastle were interested in the central defender, but neither looks to be leaving the race with the international standout.

Many will question why the club even needed another center back despite Wesley Fofana’s injury with Trevoh Chalobah stepping up in preseason, but it is difficult to ignore the talent of Disasi. The five-year veteran at the French top-flight with both Reims, and Morocco should slide into that right center back depth chart along with potential captain Thiago Silva. Benoît Badiashile, and newly extended Levi Colwill make up the top-two left-sided center defenders.

Like Ian Maatsen, and numerous of the new signings from this summer window, Disasi has the capabilities to play more than just one position. At times last season in Morocco, and for the French national team at the World Cup, the 25-year-old filled the role of right back. Given that Reece James, and Malo Gusto will occupy that position, he won’t receive much time there, but it is good to have someone there as a security blanket if needed.

How does right-sided center back Axel Disasi fit into this 2023/2024 Chelsea team?

In the French top-flight, Disasi has shown an incredible progressive passing ability in addition to providing a goal scoring threat in his final campaign with Morocco. Similar to Badiashile, Disasi is an intimidating presence in the backline. Just watching him roam the pitch in defense, he looks like a man amongst boys in Ligue 1.

Sure, the Premier League will be an adjustment, but his teammate Badiashile made it look seamless back in January. Whether it is building plays from the back or firing through balls down the flanks, Disasi has all the tools to exceed in the Premier League. He has a brilliant ability to read the play before it happens, intercepting it and transitioning possession back to his side. Leave him free in the box, he will punish the opponent. He’ll have the learn to be more disciplined when approaching tackles, but that fearlessness is there.

Disasi replaced the injured Presnel Kimpembe at the World Cup in Qatar back in November, starting in one out of the three games in which he was a part of. Listed a 6-foot-2 and a half, Disasi will soon become the third tallest center back on the Chelsea team, behind Chalobah, and former teammate in France Benoît Badiashile. The kicker is that he is 190 pounds (more than 86 kilograms). That is far and away more than the Blues’ No. 4 who weighs just 148 pounds (just over 60 kilograms). That does not mean he can’t move around the pitch as smooth as “Big Ben”. Disasi enjoys taking on defenders, and progressing the ball up the pitch with his dribbling.

Given that he has not been a part of the preseason team in the United States, Mauricio Pochettino will want to ease Disasi into the team before throwing in into the fire. When he gets comfortable to the team, the French international could be the player that sees more minutes at right-sided center back than anyone on the Blues.

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The squad has plenty of center backs even without Fofana. With Silva aging out of the game, this could very well be the next No. 1 right sided center back for the west Londoners. As much as Blues’ fans want to keep the academy standout Chalobah around, this more than likely means his exit. While he may not be the Moisés Caicedo-type of player this team desperately needs, Disasi could be a signing many look back on as a quality piece of business.