Premier League • England

Enzo Maresca urged to ditch £74m Chelsea pair and sign ‘world-class’ duo

Chelsea boss Enzo Maresca, former Blues star John Obi Mikel

New Chelsea boss Enzo Maresca has been sent transfer advice

New Chelsea manager Enzo Maresca has been told to brutally drop defenders Benoit Badiashile and Axel Disasi and potentially even sell them in order to bring in ‘world-class’ centre-backs who can help the Blues move on from Thiago Silva.

Badiashile cost Chelsea £35million when he moved to Stamford Bridge from Monaco in January 2023. Disasi followed Badiashile to Chelsea that summer, moving in a £39m deal.

The pair are best friends and have made a combined 77 appearances for Chelsea, chipping in with five goals between them.

As Badiashile and Disasi are 23 and 26 years old respectively, the central defenders have their best years ahead of them. However, as with several other defenders in the Chelsea squad, they have been shown up by veteran star Silva over the last 12-18 months.

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Silva will turn 40 in September but there is good reason to suggest he was Chelsea’s best player of the Todd Boehly era before Cole Palmer came in.

Silva will soon leave West London as he has agreed a return to his native Brazil with Fluminense.

The former AC Milan star’s departure from Chelsea will see Badiashile and Disasi come into the spotlight even more, with Maresca’s defence at risk of faltering without its natural leader.

Former midfielder John Obi Mikel, who made 372 appearances for Chelsea and helped the club win trophies such as the Champions League and Premier League, has now weighed in on the defensive situation Maresca is facing.

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Mikel has urged Maresca and Chelsea not to place their trust in either of Badiashile or Disasi, and bring in two elite defenders who can take the side to the next level.

“Thiago Silva is leaving, we need a couple of centre-halves,” he said.

“I don’t think Benoit Badiashile is the guy for Chelsea, no.

“Disasi, no. They’re still young players, they will develop. We need proven, two top centre-backs who will come in there and stabilise that back four. We need that. We need two world-class centre-halves.”

Chelsea have already brought in one new defender to help them recover from the loss of Silva, though it is unlikely to inspire Mikel too much.

Chelsea have won the race for Tosin Adarabioyo, who was also courted by Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur after running down his Fulham contract.

Newcastle United had been in pole position to sign the 26-year-old, but Chelsea have now successfully hijacked that move.

Tosin, who has penned a four-year contract, said in his first interview as a Chelsea player: “Chelsea is a huge club and this is a full-circle moment for me. I was born three miles away from Stamford Bridge and made my professional debut there.

“I’m very excited and looking forward to helping push the club in the direction we want to go.”

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