Chelsea will host Everton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday (March 18) in the Premier League. Graham Potter’s men are tenth in the league after 26 games but are on a three-game winning run across competitions.
Meanwhile, the Blues have reached a breakthrough in talks with N’Golo Kante. Elsewhere, Potter has spoken highly of Kai Havertz. On that note, here’s a look at the key Chelsea transfer stories as on March 18, 2023:
Chelsea reach N’Golo Kante breakthrough
Chelsea have reached a breakthrough in talks with N’Golo Kante. According to The Sun, the French midfielder is set to sign a new two-year deal with the Blues, with an option for a third year. The 31-year-old is in the final few months of his contract with the London giants but is yet to sign a new deal.
Kante hasn’t kicked a ball since mid-August due to a hamstring injury and has missed 33 games for Chelsea this season. The Blues have suffered in his absence and are eager to have him back. The Frenchman has played a huge role in the club’s recent success, so the London giants want him to continue at Stamford Bridge.
He has registered 262 appearances across competitions for Chelsea since arriving in 2016, scoring 13 goals and setting up 15.
Graham Potter praises Kai Havertz
Graham Potter has spoken highly of Kai Havertz in a recent press conference. The German forward has picked up form in the last few weeks and has been integral to Chelsea’s recent revival. Havertz has scored twice in his last two games against Borussia Dortmund and Leicester City.
Speaking to the press ahead of Saturday’s showdown, Potter said the 22-year-old is a dream to work with.
“He is a confident player but also someone you need to help. I can’t speak highly enough of him. He’s given everything all the time, does his absolute best, takes responsibility, an absolute dream to work with as a coach, wants to learn, wants to improve and gives his best for the team,” said Potter
“He deals with adversity in a sensible, mature way and rides out the storm. And inevitably because of the quality he has (as a player) and as a person, he’ll get his rewards.”
The English manager also pointed out that Havertz is versatile enough to operate in multiple positions across the frontline.
“He’s still young, and I think he can play in lots of positions. Not quite leading the line but behind the line is probably his best position. Although, I wouldn’t rule anything out with Kai because the mentality is really there, and he’s got all the attributes to do anything,” said Potter.
The German has eight goals and one assist in 35 games across competitions this season for the Blues.
Graham Potter working closely with Mykhaylo Mudryk, says Ben Jacobs
Graham Potter is helping Mykhaylo Mudryk find his feet at Chelsea, according to journalist Ben Jacobs.
The Ukrainian forward has struggled to get going since arriving at Stamford Bridge from Shakhtar Donetsk in January. The Blues appeared to have managed a coup when they hijacked Arsenal’s move for the 21-year-old
However, the player has failed to live up to the billing. Speaking to Give Me Sport, Jacobs said that Potter is working closely with Mudryk to help him adjust to life with the London giants.
“What Potter has done very well is appreciate that Mudryk is a different breed of footballer to others at the club, and he’s played into his personality, which is ultimately very focused and unique. Mudryk is the type of player who wants to arrive early and leave late; he wants to do a lot of gym work; he wants to make instant impacts and sometimes run before he can walk,” said Jacobs.
“Potter is a great man manager and has made sure he’s taken one-on-one time with Mudryk to explain what the transition to the Premier League is like and to justify times why he’s been left on the bench or out of the squad.”
Mudryk has appeared seven times across competitions for the Blues this season, registering an assist.