December 6, 2022

Josko Gvardiol has won over Thierry Henry following his impressive display against Real Madrid in the Champions League, amid transfer links to Chelsea and Tottenham for the RB Leipzig star

Thierry Henry has sung the praises of Chelsea and Tottenham target Josko Gvardiol following the defender’s impressive display against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

The 20-year-old netted the opening goal in RB Leipzig’s 3-2 win over the Spanish giants as he continues to grow into one of Europe’s most exciting young talents.

Speaking on CBS Sports, the former Arsenal forward labelled Gvardiol as a ‘rare breed’ of centre-half. The Croatia international was heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in the summer but, after penning a five-year extension with the German giants late into the window, a move failed to materialise.

“It’s a rare breed to have a centre-back with a left foot,” Henry said. “What I like is, and you have to give credit to Croatia and Dinamo Zagreb. They produce players at will. He’s strong. An eye for a pass.

“Chelsea wants him and I can name a lot of teams. He’s good at defending and he’s good in the air on set-pieces, but more importantly, if you are a left-footed centre-back, then suddenly people come for you.”

football.london understand that Chelsea hold an interest in Gvardiol, but Leipzig do not want to sell the defender. According to The Telegraph, there’s a £43.6million release clause in the Croatian’s contract at the Red Bull Arena.

In May, a report from Croatia said that the youngster’s father flew to London to discuss a possible move with former head coach Thomas Tuchel.

He was reportedly eyed as a perfect replacement for Antonio Rudiger on the left of a back-three – though the Blues have since added Marc Cucurella for an initial £55million.

Gvardiol is a left-footed, versatile defender who has earned a reputation for his exceptional composure and ability to progress the ball through the thirds from deep – the epitome of an all-encompassing modern centre-back.

The defender is so sought after that Mateo Kovacic tried to tempt his fellow countryman into a move in the summer.

Last month, Kovacic revealed the role that he played in Chelsea’s move for Gvardiol. Speaking to football.london in the pre-match press conference previewing the west Londoners’ Champions League group stage opener with Dinamo Zagreb, the Blues midfielder said he is hopeful of playing with his fellow countryman at club level one day.

“At the club, they asked me about Josko, I told them all the best,” he said. “I don’t need to say anything about his football.

They know what kind of player he is, and his character is excellent. I have seen in the national team how eager he is to play, he has a great career ahead of him, and I hope that one day we will play together in the club.”

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