Cover your eyes and ears, Chelsea fans, as it appears the Blues have lost the race for yet another transfer, this time Porto’s left-back Alex Telles. The BBC, ESPN, and The Sun have all cited Portuguese outlet Gauchazh which reported Telles’ agreement to join PSG.
REPORT: Chelsea Lose Race For Porto’s Alex Telles
Telles Full Package in his Prime
According to Gauchazh, the 27-year-old Brazilian, Porto, and PSG have agreed to a £21.8 million move. At this point, they’re only waiting to cross the T’s and dot the I’s. Having won league titles and domestic cups in both Turkey and Portugal, Telles has become a hot commodity in the past few years as he’s now in his prime.
Telles has all the qualities desired in a modern full-back. He has the pace and energy to fly up and down the flank and help in attack with excellent crosses and the ability to score. Twice this season alone, October and November, he won Portugal’s Primeira Liga’s Goal Of The Month.
And yet, that doesn’t come at the expense of his defensive abilities. Each of the past two seasons, he earned Team Of The League honours in Portugal and was the league’s player of the month in February.
Telles is the complete package. However, he has failed to gain the recognition he deserves, partly because he only has one cap for Brazil, getting stuck behind Marcelo, regarded by some as the best left-back in the world over the past decade.
With each season, he continues to get better and his stock has continued to rise, putting on every club’s radar.
Chelsea’s Left Back Hole Still Open
For Chelsea, missing out on Telles is a massive blow. The Blues have been looking for an adequate left-back ever since Ashley Cole left the club in 2014. Since then, now-captain Cesar Azpilicueta, naturally a right-back, played out of position for several seasons.
Marcos Alonso joined the club under Antonio Conte in 2016 and proved a phenomenal wing-back. However, he struggles as a left-back in a four. Emerson arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2018 and he too has failed to excel at left-back in the past few seasons.
Bringing in someone like Telles, with his quality and winning pedigree, would have given Chelsea a huge boost on the left side, especially with a defence that struggled this year. And for only £21+ million, he would also be great value. However, they’ll have to do without him.
With Telles headed to PSG, Chelsea will most likely turn to Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell. As good as he has played for the Foxes this year, the combination of being 23, English, and Premier League experience have his services coming at a steep premium when only marginally better than Telles.
Chelsea need cover at left-back if they want to start winning trophies under manager Frank Lampard. And Telles would have been an important piece of that puzzle. Unfortunately, missing out on him will have Stamford Bridge feeling blue for quite a while.