According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea are set to firm up their interest in Monaco starlet Benoit Badiashile, with the report claiming that the Blues are hoping to wrap up a deal for the teenager before the end of the season.
Chelsea are currently under a two-window transfer embargo but the report suggests that they want to finalise the terms and conditions of the deal before the end of the ongoing season to ensure that the 18-year-old completes his move to the Stamford Bridge next summer.
The Daily Mail understands that manager Frank Lampard is planning to sign a new centre-back as soon as the transfer ban comes to an end and he has set his sights on Benoit Badiashile, who is regarded as one of the brightest emerging defensive prospects in France.
Born in France to parents of Congolese descent, the 18-year-old only made his senior professional bow for Monaco last season but he has apparently done enough to convince Chelsea that he is capable of making the jump to the Premier League in the near future.
Badiashile made a total of 26 appearances across all competitions in his breakthrough season last term as Monaco barely managed to beat the drop in Ligue 1. The talented French youth international hasn’t looked back since then.
Despite Monaco enduring another lacklustre start to the ongoing campaign under Leonardo Jardim. Badiashile has once again caught the eye with a string of commanding displays at the heart of the defence, starting six of the club’s first eight league fixtures.
The 18-year-old’s rapid development in his homeland has already earned him rave reviews and a move to the Premier League currently beckons on the horizon, with Chelsea seemingly interested in splashing the cash to bring him to Stamford Bridge as a part of Frank Lampard’s youth project.
Standing at 6ft 4in with a towering frame, Benoit Badiashile is already a giant in the making and he seems to have mastered the art of defending at a very young age.
The teenager has illustrated a level of maturity that belies his tender years, both in terms of composure in possession and reading of the game at the back, while also impressing with his wonderful technical abilities on the ball and range of passing.
As per whoscored, Badiashile averages 1.3 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 3.3 clearances and 2.5 successful aerial duels in Ligue 1 this season. Furthermore, the youngster averages 53.2 passes per game at an accurate rate of 85.3, including 4 long balls and 0.3 key passes, figures which speak volumes of his good all-round game as a modern-day ball-playing centre-half.
To put things into perspective, it is an absolute no-brainer for Chelsea to complete a deal for him at the earliest, although the transfer ban means that the Blues won’t be able to register him before next summer.
Badiashile is still very much in the developmental phase of his career and with the fountain of youth beginning to flow at Stamford Bridge, the prospect of furthering his development under the watchful eyes of a legend like Lampard is likely to appeal to the 18-year-old.
Lampard has already worked wonders with homegrown talents like Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek could also be a part of the project when he returns to fitness.
Chelsea, though, can certainly do with another centre-back in their ranks next season, with Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen often letting the team down with their failure to cope with Lampard’s philosophy of zonal marking.
Antonio Rudiger, of course, is expected to be an undisputed starter when he returns to fitness but given the ongoing youth revolution at the club, the fans would probably welcome another youngster like Badiashile with open arms.
Suffice to say, the Blues have looked a bit vulnerable at the back and defensive reinforcements should be a priority moving forward.
Tomori has progressed by leaps and bounds since his loan spell at Derby County and is very much a key part of the manager’s plans. But it would be an excellent idea to bring in another talented youngster like Badiashile to increase competition for places.
With that in mind, Chelsea should leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of the 18-year-old Ligue 1 starlet, as it is a move that might go on to pay rich dividends in the years to come.
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