With the January transfer window officially opening today, the biggest worry among Chelsea fans is their club’s looming defensive crisis.
Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta are all yet to pen fresh terms, meaning Chelsea could be left with a threadbare backline come the summer.
The aforementioned trio’s ongoing contract talks are beginning to feel more like a soap opera than the dealings of three players with an elite-level club. Should all three players leave, Chelsea will no doubt be desperate not to lose them all without generating any money from their departures, though they could also profit from the free transfer market.
Long before his move to Stamford Bridge, Thomas Tuchel managed Borussia Dortmund between 2015-2017 and one player who played a key role during his time at the club was Matthias Ginter.
A few months after Tuchel left Dortmund, Ginter also headed for the exit door as he made a £14m move to Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The Germany international signed a five-year deal with the Bundesliga outfit, yet with said contract set to expire next summer, Tuchel could look to instigate a reunion.
If the move does materialise, Ginter could be viewed as a direct replacement for Christensen.
After all, it wouldn’t be the first time in his career he’d been drafted into a club to replace the Danish defender. Christensen enjoyed a two-year loan spell with Monchengladbach before returning to Chelsea in the summer of 2017, with the German side securing the services of Ginter to replace the former loanee.
This potential link-up will likely put a number of Europe’s top teams on alert.
Chelsea have been linked with Ginter in the past, and with plans needing to be put in place for the summer should contract talks with Rudiger, Christensen and Azpilicueta fail to be resolved, Ginter will surely be a topic of discussion.
During Tuchel and Ginter’s time together, the Germany international played in several different roles – a quality that will no doubt appeal to Chelsea.
In his first season under Tuchel he mainly played at right-back, but he also filled in as a defensive midfield and a centre-back when needed.
He finished the 2015/16 season with an impressive four goals and 10 assists, before moving into defence and playing as a centre-back for the majority of the following campaign.
Their last game together at Dortmund before the pair departed saw them win the DFB-Pokal with a 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt, with Ginter shielding the back three in a 3-5-2 formation.
Ginter, who is currently valued at £22m by Transfermarkt, has proven himself capable of playing at a high level as a centre-back since leaving Dortmund.
Having made the switch to Mönchengladbach in 2017, he has been almost ever-present in the starting XI, playing every minute of two full campaigns. He’s picked up a couple of minor injuries but nothing to be too worried about.
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His tendency to step out from the back and play in a progressive manner would make him a natural fit for Chelsea’s system and so the move seems to make a lot of sense.
Ginter, who turns 28 in January, still has his best years ahead of him and Chelsea could be the club to deliver the most memorable years of his career.
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