Chelsea fans watched on in utter dismay on Saturday evening, as David Luiz’s horror show performance at the back saw their side slump to a humiliating 3-1 defeat against their fierce local rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Time and time again, the north Londoners sliced through the Blues’ defence like a razor-sharp machete through a stack of rotting cabbages.
Constantly out of position and incapable of marshalling the backline, the defender put in the worst performance we’ve seen from him since his infamous showing in Brazil’s 7-1 defeat to Germany in the 2014 World Cup semi-final.
Arguably, Blues boss Maurizio Sarri should have anticipated the continued decline of Luiz in the summer, and invested some money in a top quality replacement – rather than bringing in yet more central midfielders.
With such a liability in their side, there’s no chance that Chelsea will be able to challenge the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool for the title this season, and they desperately need a cool head to shore up their backline.
To be fair to the affable 31-year-old, he’s been a fine servant for the club over the years – netting a penalty in the 2012 Champions League final shootout and starring in his side’s 2016-17 Premier League title
So here’s six top quality centre-backs that Sarri could target in the January transfer window.
6. Milan Škriniar – Internazionale
Inter defender Milan Škriniar is reportedly being eyed by a number of elite sides at the moment, including Chelsea.
The Slovakian powerhouse’s rugged style of defending has seen him become a highly coveted player, and he has
With Manchester United thought to be hell-bent on signing the 23-year-old, the Blues will need to act fast to avoid missing out on a real talent.
5. Stefan Savi? – Atlético Madrid
Atlético Madrid have become notorious for their rock-solid defence under Diego Simeone, with centre-back Stefan Savi?
The Blues were reportedly keen on signing the Montenegrin ace in the summer, and could reignite their interest in securing his services come the January transfer window.
The 27-year-old failed to make an impact while playing for Manchester City earlier in his career, and clearly has some unfinished business to attend to in the Premier League.
4. Kalidou Koulibaly – Napoli
Sarri has already raided his previous club Napoli once to bring in midfield magician Jorginho, and could look to bring another of his former players.
While Koulibaly is likely to prove a costly purchase, Liverpool proved that you can’t put a price on defensive solidity after splashing on the cash on Virgil van Dijk. The Blues would do well to follow suit and make a similarly groundbreaking signing.
The Senegalese sensation has thrived in Serie A for five seasons now, and may well be ready to take on a new challenge.
3. Lewis Dunk – Brighton & Hove Albion
Admittedly lacking the pedigree of the other candidates on the list, Brighton & Hove Albion’s Lewis Dunk could arguably be Chelsea’s next Gary Cahill if they’re prepared to take another gamble.
Despite coming for a relatively unfashionable side, Dunk’s consistent form for the Seagulls saw him earn his first England cap earlier in the month, as he finally earned the recognition he deserves.
At the age of 27, the 6ft 4in defender is now in his prime, and he could offer Chelsea some real composure in their often haphazard backline.
2. Alessio Romagnoli – AC Milan
After spending money like a drunken uncle at a birthday party bar, AC Milan’s issues with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules have come back to haunt them.
The Serie A sleeping giants may well need to cash in on some of their top talents to balance the books, and Chelsea should look to capitalise.
Italy international Alessio Romagnoli has the capability to lead the Blues’ defence for the next decade, and his experience wearing the armband at a young age (23) highlights his impressive leadership skills.
1. Matthias Ginter – Borussia Mönchengladbach
At the age of 24, Matthias Ginter is already a seasoned international with bags of experience for Germany, and the Borussia Mönchengladbach man could work wonders alongside his international teammate Antonio Rüdiger at Chelsea.
The former Borussia Dortmund man has been rock solid for his side this season, and put in a heroic performance as his side stunned Bayern Munich at the Alianz Arena earlier in the season – earning a clean sheet in a 3-0 win.
With his side currently second in Bundesliga, it may be hard to persuade Ginter to jump ship in January, but a summer move could well be on the cards.