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Thomas Tuchel sets impressive Chelsea record which ranks Blues amongst Europe’s elite

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The Blue’s have found stability in their team under Thomas Tuchel. As Tuchel steps into a new season with Chelsea for the first time, there is a lot of hope in the German and his position to help the Blues win the Premier League.

The story so far has been promising and it is all thanks to the revival of Chelsea’s elite defence, playing at an elite level.

Several fans were not impressed with the likes of Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso and Andreas Christensen prior to Tuchel’s arrival. However, these names are now top picks for fan favourite starting elevens. I call that, “the Tuchel effect”.

The migration from a back 4 to a back 3 had revolutionised Chelsea’s 2020/21 season. Once Tuchel took control of the Blue’s his first notable change was the formation.

Whilst some questioned the logic behind it, he continued to show that he knows exactly what he is doing. Every change he made had a reason behind it and it more than often worked out in his favour.

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An interesting stat to note is that since Tuchel’s arrival, Chelsea have accumulated 23 clean sheets; 19 from last season and 4 out of a possible 6 for the current season. This is the most kept by any club in the big five leagues in Europe.

A pretty impressive statistic. Chelsea’s champions league 1-0 win against Zenit on Tuesday night is included in this total and as they face Tottenham on Sunday, they hope to add to their tally.

Respectively, the clean sheets kept by Chelsea includes some big names. Liverpool, Real Madrid, current English champions Manchester City and current Spanish champions Atletico Madrid are on the list of the clean sheet achievers.

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There’s a mixed combination of defenders that Tuchel relies upon. Each combination of players looked to be up to the task every time they were called upon. 

Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilucueta, Trevoh Chalobah and most commonly Antonio Rudiger.

In spite of his previous rocky relationship with the fans, Tuchel has called upon Antonio Rudiger to be one of his main constants in defence. He has proven to be the rock that consistently delivers for their backline, rarely putting a foot wrong.

As I praise Rudiger, I must give Edouard Mendy the exceptional praise that he also deserves. Sharing a Champions League record of the most clean sheets saved, Chelsea’s shot-stopper has been a helping hand in their impressive defensive record.

Some say that goalkeepers do not actually play a major part in keeping clean sheets, however, Mendy’s role has been more than just shot-stopping.

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His organisation of the defence and composure on and off the ball has placed confidence in the backline that prevails in front of him.

Having confidence in your goalkeeper leads to a more solid performance and that is the most important attribute that Mendy has added to our defence.

The new season has already begun and there are still records to break. Only conceding 2 goals so far, one in the Super Cup against Villarreal and one in the Premier League by the feet of Liverpool, Tuchel’s tricky blues look stronger than ever in defence.

They’re looking to limit chances from the opposition going forward and seek out more defensively solid performances. Let’s see how they get along as the season progresses.

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Erik Ten Hag demands Man Utd ‘be fast’ about getting £43m signing over the line

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Erik ten Hag has told Man Utd to hurry up over a potential deal to sign Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez, according to reports.

The Red Devils are looking for a new centre-back this summer to give Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane some competition.

Man Utd have been linked with a number of defenders but a potential transfer for Martinez seems to have legs with a number of respected journalists revealing Ten Hag’s interest in a deal.

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The Argentina international was one of Ajax’s best players under Ten Hag last season with the 24-year-old playing 37 times in all competitions for the Eredivisie champions.

Ajax have been holding out for €50m (£43m) for Martinez but reports yesterday indicated they are ‘willing to cooperate’ with Man Utd after the Red Devils put an offer of €41m plus €4m in add-ons on the table.

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And that will be music to Ten Hag’s ears with journalist Fabrizio Romano claiming that the Dutchman has told Man Utd ‘to be fast’ over sealing a deal for Martinez with competition coming from fellow Premier League side Arsenal.

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It is understood that Martinez is ‘pushing to leave Ajax’ this summer and Ten Hag wants the Argentine as his next signing after Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia.

Arsenal are described as ‘still there’ in the race for Martinez but Romano adds that Man Utd boss Ten Hag ‘wants him strongly’.

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Barcelona do not want to sign Ronaldo, Lewandowski is the priority

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Following the meeting between Barcelona and super-agent Jorge Mendes on Monday, there has been non-stop speculation that the Catalans have been offered a chance to sign Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 37-year-old is intent on securing an exit from Old Trafford this summer, just a year after returning to his old stomping ground.

The lack of Champions League football and the failure to sign any players so far have been cited as reasons for the Portuguese maverick to seek a move.

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There have been talks with Chelsea, while a move to Bayern Munich has also been mooted. And following the meeting between his agent Mendes and Barcelona president Joan Laporta, it is being heavily speculated that Ronaldo has been offered to the Blaugrana.

However, as per a report from journalist David Bernabeu Reverter, there is zero chance that Barcelona will sign Ronaldo this summer.

The Spanish journalist claims that Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski remains the utmost priority for the Blaugrana this summer and their stance on the matter is non-negotiable.

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Barça have been pursuing Lewandowski for months and even have a three-year contract agreement in place with the Poland captain.

However, Bayern Munich’s unwillingness to negotiate with the Catalans is proving to be a major hurdle.

In spite of that, the Blaugrana remain intent on signing Lewandowski and are not considering bringing in Ronaldo, as per the aforementioned update.

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Despite being 37, Ronaldo remains in tremendous shape and scored 24 goals in all competitions last season. However, he has a rich history with Real Madrid.

The Portugal captain is Los Blancos’ all-time leading goalscorer and a club legend. So, it is hard to fathom that a move to Camp Nou can materialise.

As things stand, at least according to what David Bernabeu Reverter’s sources are stating, Lewandowski is the absolute priority for Barcelona.

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Barcelona looking to renew La Masia midfielder before loaning him out

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A report from SPORT has offered a fresh update on the future of Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig. The 22-year-old finds himself out of favour at Camp Nou and is widely expected to depart this summer.

Puig has been courting serious interest from clubs in Spain and the rest of Europe. In particular,

Benfica and Fiorentina have been showing the strongest in signing the La Masia midfielder despite his struggles to establish a foothold in the Barça first-team setup.

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Benfica have been long-term admirers of the Spaniard and continue to retain an interest. As for Fiorentina, they are already believed to be in advanced negotiations with Puig over a possible move this summer.

While it was largely expected that Barcelona would sell Puig permanently, the report from SPORT claims otherwise. Indeed, as per the latest update, the Catalan giants do not plan on selling the 22-year-old outright.

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Instead, Barça plan to extend his contract and send him out on loan so that he can play regularly and kickstart his development which has stalled in recent seasons due to a lack of game-time.

Puig’s current contract with the Blaugrana expires in 2023 and the Catalans want to ensure that they extend the deal before he is sent out on loan.

The 22-year-old, for his part, has always desired to succeed at Camp Nou. However, he has accepted that a move away to a team where he can get regular minutes under his belt would be in his best interests.

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A loan move would likely appeal more to Puig than a permanent transfer as it would allow him a chance to return to Barcelona and prove himself next year.

With no shortage of takers for the 22-year-old La Masia graduate, it remains to be seen where he ends up.

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