Despite the admirable efforts of left wing-back Marcos Alonso for Chelsea in their Premier League winning campaign last season, Blues boss Antonio Conte is determined to sign a new player in the key position this summer.
Juventus’ Alex Sandro is top of Conte’s wish-list, but the West London club are struggling to convince the Serie A giants to part company with the much-coveted Brazilian star. A number of high-profile alternatives could offer a more cost-effective option to the Blues, if their pursuit of Sandro is unsuccessful.
6. Emerson Palmieri – Roma
Brazil has been blessed with such a wealth of talent in the left wing-back position that some of their players have been forced to switch nationality in the hope of gaining international caps.
Emerson Palmieri has done just this, being called up by Italy after impressing during his breakthrough season with Roma in the 2016/17 season. The former Santos man was pivotal in ensuring his side kept one of the best defensive records in Serie A last season.
5. Jonas Hector – FC Köln
A real Bundesliga hidden gem, Hector has tirelessly worked away at FC Köln for five seasons. Instrumental in the side’s promotion to the top-flight in 2014, the 27-year-old has earned himself 33 Germany caps – starring for the side in their 2017 Confederations Cup winning campaign.
Hector has all the attributes necessary to be a star the Premier League, and would certainly feel at home alongside his international team-mate Antonio Rüdiger, who joined the Blues for £29m last week.
4. Luke Shaw – Manchester United
The former Southampton starlet has struggled during his time at Old Trafford, suffering a horror injury during the 2015/16 season. Manchester United boss José Mourinho has often been less than sympathetic with the England international’s tricky recovery period, and could well lose patience with the 21-year-old before too long.
Shaw appears to have put huge amounts of effort into his pre-season rehabilitation, and should be ready to go come the start of the campaign. A self-professed boyhood Chelsea fan, Shaw would undoubtedly be welcomed with open arms by the Stamford Bridge faithful.
3. Michail Antonio – West Ham United
While preferring to play on the right-side of the pitch, Michail Antonio is a highly flexible player and is more than capable of adapting his play to work as a left-sided footballer.
The West Ham player was a rare bright spark in a poor debut season at the cavernous London Stadium, and impressed to the extent that he earned an England call-up. Chelsea have expressed an interest in the versatile player before, and could look to snap him up while he is still in his prime.
2. Felipe Anderson – Lazio
Living in the shadow of Real Madrid star Marcelo and Juventus’ Alex Sandro hasn’t stopped the 24-year-old Brazilian establishing himself as a quality left-back with Serie A side Lazio. Lightning quick and more than willing to get stuck in with defensive duty, Anderson is one of the best kept defensive secrets in the game.
Chelsea may be unwilling to settle for a player who is arguably the third-best right-back in Brazil, but Anderson has certainly proved himself more than capable of succeeding at the highest level.
1. Ryan Bertrand
A former Chelsea young prospect, Bertrand could relish a chance to prove his doubters wrong at the club following his rapid rise to prominence since leaving the Blues in 2015. The 27-year-old saw his career falter at the club, being loaned out on ten separate occasions before permanently joining Southampton in 2015.
A fully-fledged England international, Bertrand is likely to be the subject of much interest from top Premier League sides this summer. If Chelsea can fight off Liverpool and re-sign the player, they would be gaining one of the best left-backs in the country.