I know, you’re probably tired of reading about it now. Chelsea have had a few issues in defence this season which is likely down to a combination of both individual personnel as well as the way the side sets up in the defensive third. When you look at the four centre backs currently have; Fikayo Tomori, Kurt Zouma, Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen, it is difficult to really put one above the other. Tomori is the only one who you could see making a remarkable development over the next few years.
Step up, Xavier Mbuyamba. At just 18 years old, Mbuyamba is currently considered to be one of the top centre back talents in Europe and he’s now back on the market. Chelsea currently lead the race to sign the youngster and you’d have to be a bold man to bet against them. The side was already in touching distance of signing the youngster last summer, and Mbuyamba already impressed in trials with the blues in 2019. Unfortunately, there was the small matter of a FIFA Transfer Ban, which ultimately stopped the deal progressing any further.
Mbuyamba was subsequently picked up by Barcelona, but just 12 months later he is on the way out with the Catalan side failing to present the young dutch defender with enough opportunities in their “B” side. Heading into next season it appeared that little would be changing for the talented youngster, and concerns about his own development have left the star with little option but to find another. With Chelsea undergoing a severe rebuild, it appears their relationship has picked off where it left off last summer with the transfer looking very likely. It is reported that Mbuyamba and his entourage were particularly impressed by the project and how the defender would fit in and progress as part of it. Initially Barcelona were thought to be demanding 2 Million Euros, but the Coronavirus Pandemic has left them with little choice but to simply release the talent.
Despite being just 18 years old, Mbuyamba’s impressive physique, standing at 6ft5″ and his country of origin has quickly led to comparisons to Liverpool’s own Virgil van Dijk. This seems a touch extreme to me, but the sheer amount of talent this guy has is unbelievable. Not only is he technically solid, with extremely good composure on the ball, his physicality is enough to make even the biggest of strikers baulk. All in all, Mbuyamba looks to the perfect centreback for modern football.
Quite simply, this guy has too much talent and ability to fail. Truly a centre back for the ages.
Do you think Xavier Mbuyamba will thrive at Chelsea? Let us know in the comments below!