Ilkay Gundogan would be a perfect fix for Chelsea’s problem position 0

I know plenty of people will disagree with me, but I really don’t believe that Chelsea need to add another forward before next year. For the last six months, that’s all we’ve heard: Radamel Falcao, Edinson Cavani, Wayne Rooney, Mario Gomez etc.

Forwards are exciting, you can watch their goals on YouTube videos, and they shift papers - it’s not hard to understand why so many transfer rumours involve that position.

I was having a conversation with someone earlier about Chelsea, and about which player would hypothetically provoke the biggest improvement in them as a team, and which individual signing would get them closest to the Premier League title - within reason obviously, because it’s no good wishing for Leo Messi or Andres Iniesta.

I think it’s Ilkay Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund.

While that may very well be a hipster answer, it’s also a very logical one - and he’d be an extremely useful addition to the deeper parts of Chelsea’s midfield.

I wrote something very similar a couple of weeks ago about why the same player should be of interest to Manchester United, and that’s a measure of how universally applicable Gundogan’s attributes are. He’s a great technical footballer, but he combines that with a defensive intelligence and a fondness of the more blue-collared aspects of the game - that’s the kind of multi-tasking which would be useful to any elite club on the continent.

In that Borussia Dortmund side, the eye-catching players are all the offensively-minded: Lewandowski, Reus, and Gotze, but don’t underestimate how much less of a force that team would be without Gundogan and Sven Bender in it.

Genuinely, either of those two would be a great fit at Stamford Bridge.

As time goes on, one would expect that David Luiz will be used more and more frequently in defensive-midfield, and with Andre Schurrle presumably arriving sooner rather than later, you would expect Chelsea’s shape to look something like this next season:

Forget the back-four and the single forward for the time being, because they’re not relevant here - it’s that role between Luiz and the attacking-midfielders that I’m interested in - and that’s where someone like Gundogan would be perfect. Defensively good enough to protect, technically-proficient to a level which would allow him to be a force going in the other direction and to blend with the side’s playmakers.

When you watch the Champions League final on Saturday, spend a bit of time focusing on what Gundogan does on the pitch, and look out for the range of abilities he brings to Dortmund’s midfield. He’d be perfect for Chelsea, he’s almost two players in one.

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