Chelsea

Chelsea

Premier League • England

Merson tells Chelsea to pursue Wolves star in bid to solve emerging problem

James Holland
Ruben Neves Wolves

Former Arsenal player Paul Merson has told Chelsea who they should sign in order to solve a growing problem under Thomas Tuchel.

The Blues have been disappointing in the last few weeks, losing 3-2 to West Ham before drawing 3-3 in the Champions League against Zenit St Petersburg.

They only just managed to beat injury-hit Leeds last weekend before being held to a 1-1 draw with Everton last time out.

Those results in the Premier League have seen Chelsea give up both first and second place, with Tuchel’s side four points behind leaders Man City.

They are also one behind Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

That could change when the Champions League holders travel to Wolves on Sunday at 14:00.

However, Chelsea certainly do not look as strong as they once did. They seem to be suffering from a lack of creativity in central midfield.

There is no doubting the ability of Jorginho, although he can sometimes be found lacking going forwards.

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek has come in alongside him recently and looked comfortable. But Merson thinks a top-class midfielder needs to be brought in.

And the pundit has one name in mind. While appearing on Sky Sports News, he said (via HITC): “I think Chelsea are missing a [Ruben] Neves. I think they are missing a player who can spray the ball around the pitch.”

Neves has been a reliable performer for Wolves since joining the club for £15.8million in 2017.


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He has previously been on the radar of Man Utd and Liverpool, although they are not thought to be pursuing him right now.

That could give Chelsea a free run at the Portugal international, who turns 25 in March.

It will be interesting to see if Neves puts on an impressive performance when Chelsea visit Molineux this weekend.

Bruno Lage calls Chelsea ace ‘one of the best’

Despite Merson’s reservations over Chelsea’s midfield, Wolves boss Bruno Lage has lauded Jorginho.

The Italian came third in the Ballon d’Or awards last month. That followed his UCL and Euros triumphs this year.

“All the players are important but I like midfielders, they are very important to play a good game, and Jorginho is one of the best in that position at the moment,” Lage said.

“When we try to press them, every time their concern is to find Jorginho because every time Jorginho gives a solution to come out of the pressure and find the right spaces. He is very clever.”

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