All you need to know about the star tipped to be signed by new Chelsea manager

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first_img Roma’s Radja Nainggolan 1 assess the merits of a possible Chelsea summer signing – check out more Blues stats on WhoScored’s stats-filled website.Rumours this week are rife as to who will take over at Chelsea at the end of the season.John Obi Mikel spoke about how the players want current interim boss Guus Hiddink to remain at the Stamford Bridge helm beyond the summer, though the Dutchman is adamant he’ll depart once the campaign draws to a close.Now, though, reports suggest owner Roman Abramovich has settled on former Juventus head coach Antonio Conte as the man to take charge.His contract with Italy expires after Euro 2016 and there is little to suggest the 46-year-old will prolong his stay with the Azzurri.It has even been touted that Conte has earmarked his first signing for the club, making Roma’s Radja Nainggolan his top priority.The Belgian may have gained a rating of just 6.86 this season, but he’s still widely considered one of the finest midfielders in Serie A.The tenacity he brings in the middle of the park is perhaps his strongest asset, with the 27-year-old’s energy meaning opposing midfielders are rarely given a moments rest when he plays.Only a handful of players have won possession more times in the midfield third than Nainggolan (219) in the last two Serie A seasons.With Matic’s declining form and Fabregas better utilised threading balls to the attack, Nainggolan would be an astute capture if Chelsea are in the market for a ball-winning midfielder.Yet, that is only part of his all-round game in the middle of the park. Granted, he could be deployed as the deepest-lying midfielder to shield the defence, but that could be considered a waste of his talent.Not one to settle for simply winning possession for his team, the Belgium international is more than capable of driving his team forward from deep and create chances for his teammates.Seven key passes played in Roma’s recent 5-0 win over Palermo was one of the best returns in a Serie A match this season. However, having become adjusted to a 4-3-3 formation, it would be perhaps be advised for Conte to adopt a similar system should he take charge at Stamford Bridge, if he did indeed sign Nainggolan.Having often fielded an adaptation of the three-man midfield system for Juventus and Italy, with Conte regularly favouring a 3-5-2 formation, this wouldn’t be a tough ask for the Italian manager.Moreover, this would allow for Nainggolan to exhibit every aspect of his game. Following John Obi Mikel’s return to the fore, with the Nigerian providing sufficient cover for the defence, Nainggolan would be free to break forward and support the attack safe in the knowledge Mikel would be covering the midfield third.Yet, when the pressure mounts, Chelsea could call on Nainggolan to showcase his statistically calculated strength of ‘defensive contribution’.His style of play and approach to the game is perfectly suited to English football and he is indeed one player who would improve Chelsea, particularly under a manager who is familiar with his game.For more stats on Radja Nainggolan, click here to view his player pagelast_img

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