There has been no shortage of reports linking Chelsea to Maicon. The Inter Milan right back is nearing the end of his contract and has his heart set on a new challenge. His preference is of course a reunion with former manager Jose Mourinho but it seems should that not pan out the way he hopes, Chelsea are the most likely to sign him.
What do we know about Maicon?
Maicon doesn’t need the longest of introductions. A seasoned veteran now at 30, few will disagree with the consensus that he has been one of the best right backs over the past 5 years. However at the age of 30, Maicon would only be a temporary solution to Chelsea’s lack of depth at right back. His performances have also decreased since the departure of Jose Mourinho but that has coincided with a drop in performance from Inter Milan as a whole. What many won’t know is that Maicon was set to join Manchester United almost a decade ago but failed to get a work permit.
What can we expect if he is to sign?
Maicon’s greatest strength is his ability to get forward but that is not to say he is defensively fragile (Yes, I saw the game against Tottenham). Physically capable to play in the Premier League with his speed and power he will be able to provide a stiff test for everyone in the league and provide opposing wingers and full backs with a healthy sized plate to deal with. His ability to deliver quality crosses will be welcomed by Torres and the other forwards. Oh and not to mention the annual GOLAZO!! Oh, okay…here’s Another!!!
Genuine width. If Chelsea are to sign Hulk/Oscar or play one of Hazard/Mata or even Ramires as a right winger all the players mentioned have a tendency to drift in from time to time. This could be an issue if the middle of the pitch gets to congested but Maicon over the years has raided up and down the touchline providing an outlet for his team on attacks whilst spreading the opposition defence. His attacking threat will require the opposing team to keep a close eye on his movement as he has the quality to create and score himself if given the chance.
In the modern game, full backs have tended to be less and less gifted in the art of defending. By no means is of the same ilk as Paolo Maldini but that is not to say he is in the same category as former Chelsea right back, Jose Bosingwa. Maicon’s pace allows him to keep up with most wingers in the game and his experience and understanding of the position has developed over the years. Don’t be fooled by Tottenham and Gareth Bale’s performance in that now infamous performance because if you re watch the game the goals come from counter attacking situations in which Maicon is pushed further upfield and Gareth Bale exploits the space in behind as opposed to continually beating the defender, which he no doubt done on a few occasions but heavily exaggerated in my view.
Where does he fit in?
There won’t be too many guesses as to where Maicon will likely line up in the Chelsea side. The question will however be, what is his role in the squad? Will he be the starting right back ahead of Branislav Ivanovic or provide cover to the Serbian? One argument could be to shift Ivanovic into the centre of defence and have Maicon line up as the first choice right back. Although I’m not a huge fan of the idea if Ivanovic is to partner John Terry as it leaves a need for speed at the heart of the defence.
At the reported figure of £6million, a deal for Maicon would be great business in my opinion. Whilst other options are available and younger ones at that, Maicon will be adding experience and quality to an area that lacks depth at the club, which will prove to be invaluable over the course of the season. His advancing years mean that he is a short term option but this allows Chelsea to mould Todd Kane or Sam Hutchinson into the right back they want in the future or even allow time for scouts to single out the best prospect for the future. Maicon’s ability in the attacking phase will be perfectly suited to the more offensive style Roman Abramovich clearly has his eyes set on and will no doubt provide fireworks going forward.