NELSPRUIT, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 16: Roger Espinoza of Honduras tackles through the legs of Mauricio Isla of Chile during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group H match between Honduras and Chile at the Mbombela Stadium on June 16, 2010 in Nelspruit, South Africa. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
We've known Chelsea are looking to add to their depth at fullback for a while, and today we can add yet another potential target to the list of players that Chelsea have been connected to. Udinese and Chilean national team right back/midfielder Mauricio Isla was linked to the London club this morning after a comment from his agent. When asked about a transfer within Serie A to Inter Milan, Claudio Vagheggi mentioned there have been serious inquiries from three other clubs. Those clubs? According to Vagheggi:
They are Roma, Chelsea, and Paris St. Germain
Well now, that's interesting. Isla is certainly an excellent player, and most interestingly he can fill any number of roles for his club. He's capable of playing either fullback position, anywhere in the midfield, and even on the wings in a pinch. He's even started one match at center forward for Udi this season. Isla is known for his fantastic passing, crossing, work rate, and positioning. He's not a great dribbler, so I wouldn't expect to see too many driving runs from him when he overlaps on the right. He also tends to defend a little more conservatively than our current crop of backs, rarely diving into tackles or taking chances to intercept the ball.
Isla would be an interesting player to add to the mix here, and by turning 24 over the summer he'd fit right in with the growing youth movement at Chelsea FC. With the versatility he provides, he'd be a player I'd love to see us target over the summer. He'd likely be in the discussion as an everyday starter at RB from day one, and the versatility that both he and Ivanovic provide would leave us with plenty of options to keep both involved going forward. I think it's safe to say now that we're definitely looking to upgrade our options at fullback, and Isla will be yet another player to keep an eye on. We'll keep you posted as we hear more...