Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel backed to sign his own Thiago Alcantara

Darren Lewis reviews Chelsea's win against Club America

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Frenkie de Jong can have a similar impact at Chelsea to Thiago Alcantara at Liverpool, according to former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson. De Jong is said to prefer a move to Stamford Bridge over Manchester United if he were to leave Barcelona this summer.

The Holland international would prefer to stay at Barca. He is happy at the La Liga club and is digging his heels in over an exit despite a fee being agreed with United.

Chelsea are also interested in the player and have the added incentive of Champions League football to offer. And the Blues’ potential pursuit of De Jong was a topic on Wednesday’s edition of ESPN FC.

Liverpool legend Steve Nicol claimed De Jong would make Chelsea a better team, but questioned if he is the type of player that would suit Thomas Tuchel’s style of play. Nicol said: “Listen, Frenkie de Jong is a great player.

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“And so, great players can play for any team and if you want to take Jorginho out and get rid of him and put Frenkie de Jong in, then I think that makes Chelsea better, put it that way. In my mind I don’t get that De Jong’s a Chelsea player.

“But at the same time, you need to get better. Chelsea, Liverpool, City are always looking every single season, every transfer window, ‘how do we get better? Who do we get to make us better?’.”

Robson was sitting alongside Nicol and compared the situation to that of Thiago. The Spaniard joined Liverpool from Bayern Munich in 2020 and there were doubts over his suitability to the Reds.

Thiago was a different type of midfielder to what Jurgen Klopp usually targeted in the transfer market. But Robson says he has proven to be a top signing and claims De Jong could follow suit and become Chelsea’s own Thiago.

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Robson said: “Go back to Liverpool, Thiago. Nobody thought Thiago was going to be a Liverpool player because he didn’t close the ball down quite as quickly.

“They wanted a slightly different player who could open up defences and spread the play. Thiago took a good year to settle down at Liverpool but eventually last season he had a great season.

“That could be the same for somebody like De Jong.”

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