June 3, 2023

Among the many rumoured summer defensive target, Torino’s Gleison Bremer has emerged a possible replacement for Antonio Rudiger

Chelsea are likely to be in the market this summer for a new defender with the departure of Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid and the likely exit of Andreas Christensen to Barcelona.

Multiple names have been linked from across Europe as Chelsea scramble to find an immediate replacement for the talismanic Rudiger, who has arguably been the club’s player of the season.

One fresh name that has come to the fore is Torino’s Gleison Bremer, the 25-year-old Brazilian defender currently plying his trade in Serie A with the 10th placed side.

As my colleague Adam Newson reported on Thursday, football.london understands Bremer has been watched by Chelsea this season – and as an aggressive centre-back who has played on the left of a back three this term, he would likely be a replacement for Rudiger should an approach come to fruition.

Replacing Rudiger is going to be an uphill task. You are not only looking for a defender capable of the speed, physicality and precise tacking qualities Rudiger possesses, but trickier are those intangibles in his character.

An overview of Bremer on FBRef probably best demonstrates how numbers can skew a picture slightly. The Torino man excels over Rudiger in pressures, tackles, interceptions, blocks, clearances, and aerials won, which one would consider pretty obvious defensive attributes.

But Rudiger excels in passing, attempting and completing more than Bremer, whilst also completing more progressive passes. Rudiger’s 4.68 per 90 compared to Bremer’s 1.77. Though the context of Chelsea being a more dominant team in their league compared to Torino is relevant.

Via WyScout, Chelsea’s average possession stats are higher than Torino, 60.62 vs 53.34. Bremer would be moving to a club that controls the ball more often. How that adaptation would go is hard to tell.

Though on the progressive side, Bremer does offer speed and an ability to get forward when needed in Torino’s 3-4-3 formation, similar to Tuchel’s. Achieving 1.66 touches in the attacking penalty area per 90, higher than Rudiger’s 1.38.

Moving to some clips, you quickly notice Bremer’s proactive style of defending. Repeatedly stepping up to engage and intercept in hopes of moving his team forward, not too different to Rudiger from a wider defensive position.

One of the issues present in clips such as this, which we touched on with his passing numbers, is giving the ball away cheaply after impressively winning it, something he did here.

A defender not being able to play a defence-splitting pass is not the end of the world, particularly when you factor in how many times he would get into these types of scenarios within a game.

But this might be a worry in a team that opts for control in possession, particularly needing defenders that look to progress the ball from the back three under Thomas Tuchel.

In other aspects of Bremer’s game, it is easy to see why Chelsea views him as an option.

Dealing well with all attackers, Romelu Lukaku last season when he was helping Inter win their first Scudetto in a decade.

It might be forgotten now that Serie A was the league Chelsea originally bought Rudiger from in 2017 from Roma for £29m. According to TransferMarkt, Bremer is valued at around £27m but has been viewed by several Premier League clubs.

I did write about the concern of blocking the pathway for Levi Colwill, still 18. At the age of 25, only a year older than the age Rudiger was when he signed, would prove a shrewder fit.

The defender has also shown versatility under Torino coach Ivan Juric playing across the back-three if needed, which would be helpful for Tuchel across a gruelling season.

Bremer is one of many names, but the general overview of him seems promising given what Chelsea should be targeting. With concerns over his passing to be factored in.


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