While it appears that Chelsea will soon confirm the signing of Axel Disasi from Monaco, eyes will now turn to see how the club from the principality replace the outgoing French international. One name that will surely be on the shortlist is Jesper Daland of sister club Cercle Brugge. The 23-year-old Norwegian defender is no stranger to Monaco, having spent the winter of 2022 training with the side. The central defender also appeared in a friendly for the team.
Since arriving at Cercle Brugge from Start, Daland has shown enormous potential. His height at 6’2 certainly helps him win aerial duels, but he is also effective on the ground in intercepting the ball and winning his fare share of tackles. Last season his success rate was around 74% in the regular season according to FotMob.
His 2023/2024 season has not started as well, with his unfortunate own goal seeing Cercle lose 1-0 to defending champions Antwerp. However, his passing was reasonably sound against Antwerp, with 71% success. He recovered the ball nine times and was only dribbled past once. He also won both of his aerial duels.
Since the news broke of Daland training and playing for Monaco last winter, it has felt more a question of when and not if he will move from Brugge to the Mediterranean coast. With Disasi gone, Monaco could, thanks to the relationship between the clubs, move to secure Daland reasonably quickly. Given the way that they operate, Cercle will likely already have a number of players profiled that they will look to bring in to replace the defender.
After two seasons with Cercle, this may well be the time for Daland to test himself at a higher level. If he goes, he will have amassed 73 appearances for the side and scored three goals. Moving to Monaco could also help him to break into the Norwegian national side, as so far he has only been capped at youth level.