While Chelsea placed all transfer activity on hold for the Champions League final, they may just have missed out on the perfect signing. Rightfully so, the Blues were fixated on preparations for Porto ever since the Premier League season finished at Villa Park and they got their rewards last night as they beat Manchester City 1-0.
Yet away from matters on the field, this has been one crazy and dramatic week in the world of football in the build-up to the final.
Antonio Conte’s departure from Inter Milan set the ball rolling and a knock-on effect appeared to follow.
The Italian, who won the Premier League and FA Cup with the Blues, was forced to leave Inter following the owner’s financial troubles.
Suning told Conte he must raise up to £70million in player sales to clear club debts and he felt he was unable to continue driving the Serie A champions forward.
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Should he complete the move to Paris, the 22-year-old will have already played for four of Europe’s biggest clubs in Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Inter and PSG respectively.
Hakimi would have been the perfect fit for Chelsea, particularly given the new role Reece James’ has played in recent weeks.
The England international has been slotting in on the right side of the back-three – although not last night – with Cesar Azpilicueta instead playing at right wing-back.
One of the reasons Hakimi chose to join Inter Milan was because they played 3-4-1-2, meaning he could play in a wing-back role as he did with Dortmund.
His ability to thrive in the position was also one of the reasons why Real Madrid decided to sell up given that they only played with a back four.
At Chelsea, James has struggled to thrive at wing-back while Callum Hudson-Odoi has also been shoehorned in on several occasions including Thomas Tuchel’s first match versus Wolves.
Tuchel is expected to continue moving forward with his 3-4-2-1 setup next year, as he goes in search of the Premier League title.
Azpilicueta remains an important player for Chelsea as captain but there is certainly scope to upgrade if you’re Chelsea.
Hakimi would have been the ideal acquisition this summer and would have taken Chelsea’s right flank to the next level without halting James’ development.
It feels as though this may have been a golden opportunity missed by Chelsea…