The Londoners astonishingly beat the rest of Europe to the signature of ‘one of the most exciting young players’ on the continent
Chelsea FC owners Todd Boehly, Behdad Eghbali, and José E. Feliciano have laid bare the reasoning behind the smash-and-grab signing of Anglo-Nigerian midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka.
Chelsea, on Thursday, completed the signing of talented youngster Carney Chukwuemeka from Premier League rivals Aston Villa on a permanent six-year deal.
It is the last piece of an astonishing transfer story that saw the Blues emerge seemingly out of nowhere to become established as the frontrunner for Chukwuemeka’s signature.
The 18-year-old midfielder had reportedly been on the radar of AC Milan, Barcelona, and PSG after refusing to sign a contract extension at Aston Villa.
But Chelsea trumped all other suitors to acquire the services of the 2022 European U19 Championship winner with England.
What have the Chelsea owners said?
It is not a common sight to see a club shell out almost €20 million for a teenager who could be free to discuss a move elsewhere in five months.
But Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly has disclosed that the Blues went all in for Chukwuemeka because they could not pass the chance to sign one of the best at his age grade.
“Carney is one of the most exciting young players in Europe so we are really looking forward to seeing him in action at Stamford Bridge,” Boehly told Chelsea’s official website.
“We are delighted to be able to bring him to Chelsea and add such a talented young individual to our squad for the new season and beyond.”
Co-controlling owners Behdad Eghbali and José E. Feliciano also buttressed the point raised by Boehly.
Eghbali and Feliciano were keen to point out that Chelsea were focused on the long-term when sanctioning the move for the Nigeria-eligible star.
“We are building for both the now and the future so signing one of the hottest teenage talents in English football fits with both those aims,” the co-owners said.
“Chelsea have shown that young potential can be fulfilled at this club and under our ownership we are determined this will continue. We are looking forward to Carney thriving here.”
Chukwuemeka started just two Premier League games for Aston Villa last season, making a further ten appearances from the bench.
An England U19 international, Chukwuemeka has committed to a contract that will keep him at Stamford Bridge until June 30, 2028.
The wonderkid is expected to join the Blues’ first team immediately.