Premier League • England

Chelsea told Man Utd-linked star is ‘rare’ and can lead fearsome Thomas Tuchel midfield evolution

Aurelien Tchouameni, Ludovic Blas Monaco v Nantes January 2022

Aurelien Tchouameni could be the player to build around in a new-look Chelsea midfield under Thomas Tuchel, according to one observer.

The Blues have some of the strongest midfield ranks in the Premier League following recent additions. While N’Golo Kante moved from Leicester in 2016, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic followed in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Behind the trio, Chelsea still have Mason Mount and Kai Havertz who are regular starters under manager Tuchel.

But while Mount and Havertz are 23 or under, Kante and Jorginho are both 30. What’s more, it remains unclear if they will renew their contracts at Stamford Bridge.

As such, the search is on at Chelsea for the next step in the team’s midfield evolution. Mount’s good friend and England team-mate Declan Rice – at West Ham – is a long-term target.

However, Monaco’s 21-year-old Tchouameni is also reportedly on the Blues’ radar. In fact, Chelsea reportedly want the £50million-rated star as one of three new French signings.

According to French football expert Jonathan Johnson, Tchouameni – who has also been linked with Manchester United – is a signing Chelsea should make.

Asked if the seven-cap France international could replace Kante, he told Football London: “In terms of being the potential future fulcrum of Chelsea’s midfield, yes.

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However, I would argue that Tchouameni has the potential to do more than just replace Kante.

“The Monaco man has the makings of a rare complete midfielder whereas Kante has not built his reputation upon attacking prowess. Tchouameni could ultimately be the player Chelsea fans hoped [Tiemoue] Bakayoko would develop into.

“Tchouameni at the top of his game is a force of nature and has the potential to be the player that Tuchel builds his new-look midfield around.

“My impression is that Kante is closer to the end of his Chelsea story than the start, so it would make sense that Tuchel looks to blend Tchouameni more with Jorginho and Kovacic than his fellow Frenchman.”

Tchouameni could join Chelsea award winners

Aurelien Tchouameni, Monaco midfielder speaks to the press before Ligue 1 game v Paris Saint-Germain

In 2022, Chelsea are reportedly targeting Tchouameni as they look to build on a successful 2021.

The Blues won the Champions League in Tuchel’s first half-season. As such, they earned their rewards at FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony.

Tuchel won the men’s coach of the year prize, while Edouard Mendy was named men’s goalkeeper of the year.

Tuchel said: “It was a pretty normal day so far at training. I have just come here. But now you have said my name and it is pretty surreal. I am overwhelmed and a bit uncomfortable.

“I enjoy the journey and the club. It is a good fit. The company on the journey is so good. We lost a bit of track to Manchester City in the league but we follow our goals still and be the best version of ourselves.”

Chelsea return to action on Tuesday when facing Brighton in the Premier League.