Chelsea are plotting a summer swoop for Wolfsburg defender Maxence Lacroix and have already initiated talks with the player’s representatives over a potential switch.
A product of the FC Sochaux academy, Maxence Lacroix, 21, joined Wolfsburg for a fee of just €5 million last summer. He has been a mainstay in Oliver Glasner’s defensive unit, forming a strong partnership with the experienced John Brooks. They have helped Wolfsburg achieve one of the best defensive records in the league as well as clinching Champions League football for next season.
Maxence Lacroix has a contract with Wolfsburg until 2024 but recently rejected an offer of a contract extension from the Bundesliga club. It is understood that Wolfsburg are desperate to keep hold of their star Frenchman but they could be tempted into selling should they receive an offer in the region of £26m this summer.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have improved leaps and bounds since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard at the helm of the club in January. Tuchel has changed the system to play a three-man backline with two wing-backs bombing up and down. The system has brought success to the Blues, who are set to play Manchester City in the Champions League final in Portugal on May 29.
Chelsea have been a tough nut to crack under Thomas Tuchel
What has been the most impressive aspect under Tuchel is how quickly he’s tightened things at the back for Chelsea. The west Londoners have conceded just 14 goals in 28 games across all competitions since the German tactician took over. That’s a really impressive defensive record that has helped Tuchel’s side in with a good chance to make it to the top four this season.
Antonio Rudiger has seen his Chelsea career revived with the likes of Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Kurt Zouma playing alongside him. Thiago Silva’s current contract at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of the season and even if he does end up signing an extension, the Brazilian will turn 37 by the time next season starts. He is in the final phase of his career, while Azpilicueta isn’t getting any younger.
Fikayo Tomori, Malang Sarr and Ethan Ampadu are all out on loan at the moment. The trio’s futures are uncertain at Chelsea, which only highlights the need for defensive reinforcements in the upcoming summer transfer window.
Should the Blues make a move for Maxence Lacroix?
Maxence Lacroix has proven to be one of the rising stars of this Bundesliga season with his consistent displays at the heart of Wolfsburg’s defence.
Blessed with solid technique and good turn of pace, the Frenchman has been a massive boon in Oliver Glasner’s defensive-oriented system at Wolfsburg. Standing at 6ft 3in tall, he is also very strong in the air and never shies away from going toe-to-toe with physically intimidating forwards. In addition, the 21-year-old’s positional sense belies his age, and he can certainly improve his overall game under a tactically astute manager in Tuchel.
Those qualities should make him a perfect fit for Tuchel’s system of playing out from the back. Lacroix seems to have all the raw materials to make the transition to the Premier League in the future. Having said that, Chelsea signing the Wolfsburg starlet in the summer could go a long way towards helping them unearth a gem.