Why Max Bird could be a good future investment for Chelsea
The 19-year-old Bird has made 18 appearances across all competitions for Derby this season and has contributed to his side with two assists. A defensive midfielder by trade, Bird had previously played under Chelsea boss Frank Lampard last season when he was the manager there.
In fact, it was Lampard, who had offered the young Englishman his Championship debut last year in December, where he came on as a substitute for Mason Mount in Derby’s 2-1 win over Swansea City.
Having made four league appearances for Derby last season, Bird has quickly risen through the ranks, featuring in 13 of their last 17 league outings this term. Out of his 13 appearances for Derby, Bird has won six, drawn four and lost three, signifying his worth in the current line-up.
Having impressed for Derby’s under-23 side in the Premier League 2, making 43 appearances to date, it was not a big wonder Bird was handed the first-team role by boss new boss Phillip Cocu. Despite the side having as many as four experienced defensive midfielders in its ranks, Bird’s impressive displays in the middle have seen him earn a spot in the senior squad this time.
Having seen him play numerous times in the Rams academy and youth teams and now excelling for their main team, Lampard is now keen on bringing the young midfielder to Stamford Bridge.
Bird can offer Chelsea depth in defensive midfield role
Meanwhile, Lampard is one manager who has benefitted from his side’s younger talents this season after a transfer ban restricted Chelsea from signing new players last summer.
The Blues academy players – Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Reece James, and Fikayo Tomori have been the side’s top performers this season, helping them climb to an impressive 4th place in the league table.
Not only have they saved Lampard money in the market but also delivered when required. While 22-year-old Tammy is Chelsea’s top-scorer in the league with 13 goals, Mount is their highest assist-provider with five assists to his credit.
However, Chelsea lack depth in the defensive midfield role, with Jorginho being their sole player in that department. Chelsea also have 2018 World Cup winner N’Golo Kante with them. However, the Frenchman mostly plays as a central midfielder these days.
Having begun his career as a defensive midfielder, Kante shifted to a more attacking role after the arrival of Maurizio Sarri last season. The Italian preferred Jorginho in the more deep-lying role while Kante was offered more freedom to go forward and attack.
With Chelsea’s young stars proving a point this season and their dearth of defensive midfielders clearly evident, Blues’ pursuit of Bird seems like a step in the right direction. Hence, they should not waste any time and land the Derby teenager as he might be of use in the days to come.
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Considering Bird’s age and the lack of Premier League experience, it is certain that he will feature in very few games for Chelsea if a deal goes through. However, having proved his potential at such a young age for Derby’s senior squad, he could prove to be a good investment for the Blues. Also, he has got plenty of time and could develop his game under Lampard’s guidance.