Why Chelsea should attempt to land rising youngster Xavier Mbuyamba
According to Daily Mail, Premier League side Chelsea are closing in on a deal to sign 18-year-old defender Xavier Mbuyamba.
The highly-rated defender, who joined La Liga giants Barcelona last summer, is currently a free agent, having left them at the end of his contract last June. Despite impressing for the Catalans with his three appearances in the UEFA Youth League last season and it was not enough to assure Mbuyamba of a future at Camp Nou.
He is also a member of Netherland’s under-19 squad and has featured once for them so far since his debut back in November last year. With the youngster currently without a club, Premier League side Chelsea have shown an interest in signing him.
Meanwhile, Mbuyamba is not someone new to the Blues, having trained with them last year. However, a deal never materialised for the centre-back as he was contracted to Barcelona.
Mbuyamba to Chelsea seems like a welcome sign for the club
Chelsea, on the other hand, under new boss Frank Lampard has had an excellent season, finishing fourth in the league and securing a Champions League spot. Despite the side’s success this season, defence has been a major concern for Lampard and Chelsea, having conceded as many as 54 goals from their 38 league matches.
This is the worst defensive record by any side in the Premier League top-ten this season. That said, Chelsea’s decision to make a move for rising talent such as Mbuyamba seems like a welcome sign. However, with the young Dutchman yet to impress on the senior level, it is highly unlikely that he would be offered first-team opportunities at Stamford Bridge if a move happens.
Chelsea already have as many as three experienced centre-backs in Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma, and Andreas Christensen but the three of them have been inconsistent throughout this season.
Apart from these three, they also have Fikayo Tomori in the side. The young academy graduate has been one of the few other youngsters in the side that have made a first-team breakthrough this season under Lampard.
With the club’s decision to keep faith in their youngsters bearing fruit this term, Mbuyamba can be assured of opportunities in the coming days. Hence, by all means, Mbuyamba to Chelsea seems like a win-win situation for both parties.
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Chelsea’s defensive lapses throughout this season suggest that they are in clear need of new faces at the back and Mbuyamba’s arrival will only make them stronger. Though he is still in his teens, he can be a good option next season for Lampard.