Disgruntled Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has admitted that he wanted to sign Roma’s bruising midfielder Radja Nainggolan in the summer but the club ended up deciding on Tiemou Bakayoko instead, according to the Express.
The Blues were heavily linked with the Belgian midfielder in the summer and he was also reportedly approached by Manchester United. However the Premier League clubs opted instead to sign Bakayoko and Nemanja Matic respectively and Nainggolan penned a new long-term contract with Roma.
The box-to-box midfielder is incredibly highly rated and played a crucial role for Roma as the club finished as runners-up in the Serie A last season.It is no surprise that Chelsea were interested in acquiring Nainggolan’s services as he is one of the most complete midfielders in world football. Capable of excelling both offensively and defensively the Belgium international has an excellent range of passing, good pace and physicality, impressive versatility and the ability to unleash a cracking long shot.
In the end Chelsea chose Bakayoko and the Frenchman has made a decent start to life in London. A part of last season’s Ligue 1 winning Monaco side the midfielder is by no means a bad player and has impressed many with his defensive capabilities.
With the Blues facing Roma this evening in the Champions League it will be interesting to see which of these two players performs better on the European stage and whether missing out on Nainggolan come back to haunt Antonio Conte.