The Case For/Against Tomas Kalas

Over the next few days we will examine 11 Chelsea prospects in every position on the pitch and analyze their potential for the first team in the future.

GK- Jamal Blackman
RB- Todd Kane
CB- Andreas Christensen
CB- Tomas Kalas
LB- Jay Dasilva
DM- Ruben Loftus-Cheek
CM- Lewis Baker
CAM- Izzy Brown
CAM- Lucas Piazon
ST- Dominic Solanke
ST- Patrick Bamford

Case For Tomas Kalas

It is hard to judge a player on just one performance but Tomas Kalas’ coming out party was a memorable one against Liverpool, one in which he performed well enough to shut down one of the world’s best strikers, Luis Suarez. Partnered alongside Ivanovic against the then title-condenders, Kalas performed admirably with 9 clearances, 2 interceptions and a blocked shot as Chelsea completely shut out Liverpool. People still discuss Kalas as a potential first team player because of this performance, but he has long been a reliable player.

What sets Kalas apart from most other center-back options is his athletic ability. Kalas is a phenomenal leaper and has wonderful pace for a defender. His style is more similar to Ivanovic than it is to any other defender. Despite struggles at Köln, Kalas has established himself as a regular with terrific loan spells at Vitesse and Middlesbrough. He has performed phenomenally well at Boro and has proven that he is a notch above Championship level at this stage of his career.

Case Against Tomas Kalas

If there is a major knock on Kalas it is that he is not the ideal Mourinho type player. He is a little undersized for a center-back (6’0″) and is a little thin to be an imposing physical presence. That being said, Carvalho thrived in Mourinho’s system with a player like John Terry beside him. Pairing him with a player like Zouma could counter-balance Kalas’ weaknesses. Mourinho has said that he sees Kalas as a center-back and not a right-back. Most of Kalas’ appearances for Vitesse and Middlesbrough have come as a right-back.

The other thing to be considered is his path into the first team. If Chelsea are bringing in Raphael Varane then he will likely be competing with the slightly more established Kurt Zouma and the up-and-coming Andreas Christensen for playing time. While he has the edge now over Christensen, it is hard to see him getting past Zouma, a player that has barely put a foot wrong all season. The talent is there, but the opportunity to show it might be limited.

Outlook

Kalas will have two more seasons left on his contract at the end of this season. If Chelsea have no plans for him then they will likely look for a buyer this summer, but there has been no indication that either party wants to end his stay. Kalas is an ideal like-for-like replacement for the aging Ivanovic in every conceivable way and it is not hard to believe that he would be successful playing in the same role. As long as Mourinho sees him as a center-back then his path to the first team will be a difficult one.

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