Chelsea urged to overlook Matthijs de Ligt and move for ex-Spurs icon to fix crisis | Football | Sport

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Former Chelsea right-back Glen Johnson has urged new owner Todd Boehly to move for an “out there” defender to help solve the club’s defensive crisis. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have already departed Stamford Bridge, with club captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso also being linked with moves away this summer.

Thomas Tuchel’s side have an interest in Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt according to reports, but Johnson believes there could be a cheaper alternative and someone already used to the Premier League. “I know it’s going to sound a bit out there but I would say Toby Alderweireld,” he told GGRecon. “Who used to be at Tottenham. He’s not going to cost much, he knows the Premier League, he’s a good footballer, and I think in a proper team he could surprise a lot of people.

“Other than that, I think it’s actually quite weak. If you had a gun to your head and someone said ‘Outside of the obvious, who are the best three centre-backs in the world?’ I think it would be very difficult.”

Since leaving Tottenham last year, the Belgian defender has been in Qatar playing for Al-Duhail under former Argentine striker Hernan Crespo. He continues to be picked by Belgium manager Roberto Martinez and has made three appearances for the Red Devils in 2022.

READ MORE: Chelsea handed major boost in pursuit of Dembele after Barcelona talks

New Chelsea owner Boehly is leading transfer negotiations this summer as interim sporting director, and a move for Nathan Ake has also been rumoured during talks for Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling. Chelsea are reportedly frontrunners to sign the England star and could move for another Pep Guardiola player in Ake.

Johnson, however, believes the Dutchman would be an underwhelming replacement for Rudiger on the left-hand side of Tuchel’s back three. “No disrespect to Ake but I think most people were surprised when he went to Manchester City,” he added. “Certainly for that amount of money. Put it this way, he didn’t blow my mind when he was at Bournemouth.

“He’s just OK. Then we saw the amount of money for him to go to City and it was like ‘Jesus, where have they seen that?!’ I don’t think he’s a suitable replacement for Rudiger at all.”

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