The right-back position at Chelsea is still up for grabs and the latest competitor for the position is Maicon, a name we should all know. A few seasons ago the 30-year-old Brazilian was lauded as the best right-back in the world and he is often compared to Ashley Cole, another alleged best in his position. He also helped Inter Milan win the UEFA Champions League in 2010, and has been lauded for his contribution greatly. But more recently we haven’t heard of such appreciation anymore, mainly due to Inter’s terrible season in Serie A. And a man who soon turns 31 doesn’t really show that Chelsea are looking to rejuvenate the squad, is he? So is he still Chelsea material?
My short answer is yes, if used wisely, but I don’t have much to say about this topic that We Ain’t Got No History hasn’t covered yet, so I really recommend reading that article.
In the last few months, Chelsea has been linked with Piszczek, Azpilicueta, Van Der Wiel, Debuchy etc. – all of whom are young and promising, and could be long-term solutions for Chelsea’s right-back position. However, I can give several reasons why I think we would be better off with Maicon:
1) Branislav Ivanovic. The last few seasons have shown that Maicon won’t be the main man in the right-back position anymore. He’s been playing under 30 games a season, yet it doesn’t affect his performances (like in Lampard’s case where according to him, consistency creates results). In fact, as the author of the forementioned article showed, the longer Maicon rests, the better he plays.
We’re comfortable in the centre where we have 4 great options: John Terry, Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic. If it were possible I’d play them all because they are so good, but that’s impossible. But Ivanovic is almost equally good in the centre and right. So he can provide frequent cover for Maicon, and everyone will be pleased as they get their playing time.
2) The academy. Ashley Cole has been playing in his position without experienced cover for some time. The result: Ryan Bertrand has emerged as a valuable young left-back who has already been called up for important games and performed well. In fact, wasn’t he named Man of the Match once this season? He might become the next first choice left-back at Chelsea. Also, Patrick Van Aanholt made a few impressive appearances last season. Why not introduce the same policy in the right back?
Our academy has produced young talents who may join the first team very soon. The first name you might recall is Todd Kane who turns 19 this year. He was an integral part of the team that won the 2012 FA Youth Cup, and like many of our senior defenders he has a scoring ability.
If we go for a young and established foreign player, Kane and other youngsters (Nortey, Gordon, Bangura, et al) might as well just forget about ever emerging from the reserve team.
3) Money, money, money. A young and talented right-back won’t come cheap, but we could get Maicon for £6 million and £80,000 a week, which isn’t so outrageous. And if you still think this price tag is over the top, think about it as a short-term thing.
4) Big games. If you’ve been following Italian football you would know that Maicon likes showing up in big games and scoring beauties. His only two goals from the 2011/12 season were against rivals Juventus and AC Milan, the second of which was a beauty lauded as one of the best goals of the season. It’s not the first time he’s scored against big sides. From Inter’s treble season you might remember Maicon’s goals against (again) Juventus and AC Milan, as well as Barcelona. Chelsea could use a player with such an ability, as big Premier League sides are the Blues’ kryptonite (although Spurs fans might be smirking, remembering how Gareth Bale gave Maicon a run and as a result became the “world’s best”).
5) Chelsea’s style. Maicon is known to be attacking and pacy, although the latter quality might have faded with age a little. He’s got his eye on the goal so can be caught out of position at times (something we’ve seen in Chelsea a lot), so stylistically Chelsea’s defence won’t change much, but its quality will, as Maicon will definitely be an upgrade from Jose Bosingwa who just departed, and Paulo Ferreira who rarely gets a game and doesn’t have the quality to play week in week out.
My only concern is Maicon’s ability to adapt to the English style of playing. EPL has been often referred to as the league where foreign players have to work especially hard. Even the smallest clubs get competitive and give new arrivals a trial. Can Maicon get adapted at the age of 31?
And I repeat – adding Maicon to the squad will only please me if it opens up possibilities for Chelsea’s academy players and he is used sparingly so that other senior defenders will also be happy.
Written by Annely
Please note : the views in many of our blogs are written by fans of Chelsea FC and are not necessarily the views of the club