Former Chelsea midfielder Gus Poyet feels his old club should steer clear of Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar — and instead prioritise the signing of Ousmane Dembele. Blues’ boss Thomas Tuchel is reportedly looking to bolster his wide attacking options this summer, with a host of top players being linked to the West Londoners.
PSG forward Neymar is one name in the frame, but Poyet does not think the 30-year-old would be suited to the Premier League. Instead, he feels Barcelona’s Dembele – available on a free transfer – would be a better option, despite acknowledging that the Frenchman’s chequered injury record counts against him.
Chelsea Shouldn’t Sign Neymar
Speaking exclusively to Lord Ping, he said: “Chelsea shouldn't try to sign Neymar. I think he will stay at PSG.
“I think after [Kylian] Mbappe announced he was staying and with their ambition to try and win the Champions League, I can't see [Neymar] leaving.
“I don't think he would adapt quickly to English football with how physical it is. I can't see him joining Chelsea.
“Ousmane Dembele is very different to the rest [the other players linked with Chelsea]. When he's fit, he's different. He's quick, direct and very dangerous but he needs to stay fit.
“It looks like the priority for Chelsea is a wide player and that shows that maybe the players who played there last season didn't perform at the level he [Tuchel] wanted.
“Chelsea should prioritise Dembele but the club will be having doubts about his fitness.
“Barcelona paid a lot of money for him and didn't use him as much as expected.
“We all know what he can do and how important he could be, but there's a question mark around him.”
Not Convinced About Sterling
However, Leeds’ Raphinha and Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling have been more strongly linked with moves to Chelsea – and Poyet is not certain what to expect if the latter swaps the Etihad Stadium for Stamford Bridge.
“Raheem Sterling used to be a wide player, getting the ball and running in one-on-one situations into the box – now he's transformed his play style and is more of a goalscorer, but that was at Man City,” he continued.
“I don't know if he can do the same at Chelsea.
“If Sterling joins Chelsea, it'll be down to Thomas Tuchel looking for a specific characteristic.
“Maybe he thinks that he's missing that kind of wide player as Chelsea have been linked with Sterling and now Raphinha.
“It'll be interesting to know who's leaving if they both sign because that will mean they will have six or seven players for two positions.”
And Poyet has defended City manager Pep Guardiola’s apparent willingness to part ways with Sterling, suggesting that the Spanish tactician knows the right time to part ways with important players.
“Pep Guardiola knows when his players are at the top of their game and when they need to leave,” he explained.
“If you go through Guardiola's career, he's always had very important players at his clubs, and also very important players that left the club. There have been many important players that have left like Yaya Toure.
“Guardiola knows exactly what he wants and what he needs and when his players are at the top of their game.
“It's more clear what Guardiola wants rather than Chelsea if Sterling moves there.”
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