CHELSEA have a massive goal leaking problem; and it was emphasised once again in their 3-2 win over Crystal Palace.
I believe the problem can be solved by adding another centre back and a goalkeeper, who between them offer more leadership, aerial ability, and organisational skills.
Those are the three key ingredients to sealing Chelsea’s defensive holes.
At the minute, we have defenders that can head the ball to a reasonable standard such as Kurt Zouma and Antonio Rudiger, but they often find themselves in the wrong positions when attacking the ball and attempting to win the header in the first place.
Chelsea have conceded so much from set pieces, with teams now not only realising this but targeting it.
Not one defender or keeper is vocal or aware enough to organise those around them.
I’m talking defenders, midfielders and attackers – because defending is done collectively.
Chelsea need some clever additions back there, players who intelligently read the game well, sense the danger, and either sniff it out themselves, or instruct others to sniff it out.
The two players Chelsea should look at signing and have a realistic chance of doing so, are goalkeeper Dean Henderson from Manchester United and Declan Rice from West Ham.
Both these players bring instant leadership and an ability to read the game well and organise the players ahead of them.
They also bring a decent aerial ability, with Rice standing at 6ft 1in and having an incredible leap and threat in the air; and Henderson standing tall at 6ft 2in and is good at coming for crosses – something that Kepa Arrizabalaga does not do due to his lack of height.
Rice has captained the Hammers for their last two games and although he usually plays as a midfielder, he started his career as a centre back at Chelsea and has played for West Ham there on a few occasions.
Chelsea could use that versatility though, and Frank Lampard seems to want his team to be flexible with players that can do a number of roles.
But Rice as a centre back really does give me John Terry vibes – his leadership, his calmness on the ball, and his ability to organise and read the game.
He is also comfortable with both feet and a threat in the air at both ends.
West Ham could still get relegated, which would make this is a deal that can easily be pursued – he won’t want to drop to Championship football now.
But if they stay up, Chelsea could offer Ross Barkley as part of the deal to help smooth things over, or even Fikayo Tomori on loan if that’s what they decide to do.
As for Henderson, this will be a lot more difficult, but not impossible.
United will want to keep him, but if they can’t offer him first team football next season, then I believe he will ask for a transfer to go and get settled somewhere as a regular.
Chelsea could offer him that first team football if they sell or send Kepa out on loan.
David De Gea does not appear to be looking to end his United career anytime soon, and the club don’t seem to want rid of him either. So there is a chance.
If Chelsea signed this pair it would automatically improve their defence and help stop the defensive misery.