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Why Chelsea must steer clear of Michael Olise this summer

Chelsea are confident of pipping Manchester United to the signature of Crystal Palace star Michael Olise, according to Academy Scoop.

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has also maintained that Chelsea are keen on the Palace man. He has a £60 million release clause, which becomes active this summer.

The Blues pursued the France Youth international last summer before he signed a new deal with the South London club and are reportedly after him again this transfer window.

The 22-year-old reportedly shares a good relationship with Chelsea recruitment chief Joe Shields, which the Blues will use to secure his signature.

Olise had an outstanding season for the Eagles, bagging ten goals and six assists (nine big chances created) in 19 Premier League appearances.

The Hammersmith-born forward is an excellent player. He is a superb dribbler and crosser, creative, defensively good and retains the ball well — all traits you’d want from a modern-day attacking midfielder.

However, while he is a supreme forward, Chelsea must steer clear of the Crystal Palace star.

Injury concerns

For all his special attributes, Olise’s availability remains a major question mark.

The former Reading attacker started only 14 PL games this term, coming off the bench five times, meaning he was unavailable for half of the league season.

It was not a one-off for Olise. He missed several games during the 2021/22 campaign, starting only 12 league games due to various setbacks.

Adding another injury-prone player to the doctor’s table is not the wisest course of action for a club that has suffered its fair share of injuries over the past year.

Wesley Fofana, Reece James, Benoit Badiashile, Lesley Ugochukwu, Ben Chilwell, Christopher Nkunku, Carney Chukwuemeka, Trevoh Chalobah, and Romeo Lavia all spent massive chunks of the season sidelined through injury.

Given Chelsea’s recent struggles with player availability, Chelsea should prioritise targets with a better track record of staying fit. Olise’s injury history makes him a risky acquisition.

Cole Palmer, Noni Madueke, Kendry Paez, Estevao Willian

When the Blues missed out on signing Olise last summer, they turned to Cole Palmer, who they signed for £42.5 million from Manchester City – what a transfer masterstroke!

Palmer contributed 32 goals for Chelsea in 34 league games, establishing himself as the team’s talisman. He loves to operate off the right and can play through the middle like Olise.

Meanwhile, Palmer has Noni Madueke behind him in the pecking order. The England youth international is more direct and offers relentless dribbling, giving the Blues another solid option off the right flank. There is no room for Olise.

Adding to the depth of talent on Chelsea’s books is Ecuadorian talent Kendry Paez, whom Chelsea signed last summer. The right-winger will join the club next summer.

Palmeiras starlet Estevao Willian, who also operates off the right side, is expected to follow Paez through the door in 2025.

Chelsea already have their right flank covered for now and the future – adding Olise is an unnecessary extravagance.

Olise’s talent is undeniable, but his injury history and Chelsea’s existing depth make him a risky acquisition. The Blues should focus on strengthening other areas like the underproductive left flank.

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