After months of speculation, Chelsea and manager Frank Lampard have secured their third signing of the transfer window across the board, signing Dutch centre-back Xavier Mbuyamba from Barcelona on a free transfer. The 18-year-old signs a contract at Stamford Bridge until at least 2023.
Chelsea Sign Xavier Mbuyamba
The Next Van Dijk?
Due to his nationality, stature and composure on the ball, Mbuyamba has been likened to his compatriot Virgil Van Dijk, arguably the best defender in the world at the moment.
A former Chelsea trialist himself, Mbuyamba could not sign for Chelsea last year due to the transfer ban, and instead he joined Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy. However, he was released this summer under suspicious circumstances, with his agent Carlos Barra publicly stating Barcelona were not the right club for him.
That left the Blues free to snap him up once again and make amends for letting him go in the first place. Now, he will be at Stamford Bridge for years to come and develop with the help of Lampard and the academy coaches.
Standing at 6’4″, he naturally has a commanding aerial presence, something Chelsea have lacked this season. That is not his only strength, however. His technique, as well as his assurance on the ball, make him a very promising defender and an excellent addition to the Chelsea squad.
Lampard the Deciding Factor in Move
It was the already-established connection to Chelsea and the promise of potential playtime under Lampard that did the trick for the joining Mbuyamva. The 18-year-old was convinced that the right next step for him was a move to Stamford Bridge.
Now that his signing has been confirmed, he will join the developmental squad, with the promise of first-team action soon as he gets better and better. He has loads of potential, and thankfully, for Chelsea fans, that potential will be realized in west London.
With Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner already confirmed, and Kai Havertz seemingly imminent, Mbuyamba is a very shrewd acquisition that will likely go under the radar for now, but not for long.
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