Chelsea are reportedly keeping tabs on Lyon defender Mouctar Diakhaby, with Antonio Conte dissatisfied by his side’s defensive output.
According to a report in The Sun, Antonio Conte is keen to make some reinforcements in defence, particularly at the heart of defence. The Chelsea boss has, therefore, turned his attention towards Lyon, where Mouctar Diakhaby has caught his attention.
Diakhaby joined the youth setup at Lyon in 2013, and rapidly progressed through the ranks before breaking through into the first-team squad last season. Since then, the player has progressed considerably, although he is yet to become a mainstay at the back for the Ligue 1 side.
Last season, though, Diakhaby played a key role in Lyon’s Ligue 1 and Europa League campaigns as they finished third in the French top-flight, while reaching the semifinals in Europe’s second-tier competition.
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) November 4, 2017
In all, the 20-year-old has racked up 40 appearances since making his debut in September 2016, and has also contributing to his team’s cause with 6 goals. Most importantly, the youngster’s reputation is burgeoning for being a composed figure at the back, in addition to posing a distinct threat in set-piece situations.
His qualities seem to have caught the eye of Antonio Conte, who is eager to bolster his options at the back. The keenness to reinforce his defensive options doesn’t come as a surprise, with the Italian known to build his success on the back of defensive solidity.
Chelsea have conceded 20 goals in 18 games this season, posing a vulnerable look at the back for the most part so far this season. Senior defenders like David Luiz and Gary Cahill have struggled to maintain consistency, while Antonio Rudiger going off to a slow start at Stamford Bridge following his £34 million move from AS Roma in the summer.
Therefore, with just Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen managing to perform at an acceptable level, Diakhaby has emerged as a viable target for Conte. The youngster’s abilities on the ball also makes him an ideal fit in the Chelsea boss’ system at Stamford Bridge.
The report suggests that Diakhaby is starting to attract interest from a host of clubs across Europe, so Chelsea might need to move quickly to snap him up. But, with more than four years left on his deal with Lyon, he might command a sizable fee, and it remains to be seen if the Blues indeed make a move.