A medical is all that remains after Chelsea reached agreements over both the transfer fee and personal terms with Monaco’s Benoit Badiashile, and his arrival could spell trouble for an unfancied summer recruit.
The Blues are hell bent on reshaping their squad and are determined to add a younger and more vibrant feel. Chelsea signed three teenage stars last summer in the form of Gabriel Slonina, Carney Chukwuemeka and Cesare Casadei.
They’ve followed their recruitment drive for the future up with moves for David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos, with the former due to arrive at Stamford Bridge today and the latter recently pictured in London.
Now, the Athletic report another young star is poised to join the Chelsea revolution, though despite his age, he’ll be a contender to make an immediate impact.
The Athletic’s ultra-reliable David Ornstein reported Chelsea have struck an agreement with Monaco to sign centre-back Benoit Badiashile.
The Blues will pay around £33m for the Monaco ace, 21, and personal terms have already been agreed.
A medical is currently being scheduled and barring any late drama, the two-times France capped defender will be a Chelsea player very shortly.
Badiashile is left-footed and once signed, will represent the club’s only naturally left-sided centre-half. Marc Cucurella can operate on the left of a back three, though is primarily a full-back or wing-back.
Antonio Rudiger had worked wonders on the left of a back three under Thomas Tuchel. However, the German left for Real Madrid last summer and both of Chelsea’s centre-back signings – Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana – are right-footed.
Koulibaly threatened by Badiashile arrival?
Koulibaly had played extensively on the left side of Napoli’s centre-back pairings in Italy. However, the Senegalese has struggled to adapt to the Premier League since his £33m move and Badiashile’s arrival will cast doubts over his future.
Koulibaly has been linked with a premature return to Italy in the form of a move to Inter Milan. Inter could soon have their own centre-back holes to fill with Stefan de Vrij and Milan Skriniar both out of contract at season’s end.
Further reports out of Italy recently claimed Chelsea boss Graham Potter isn’t convinced by Koulibaly. Badiashile’s imminent arrival would seem to be proof of that.
Thiago Silva remains the rock in Chelsea’s defence whether they play a back four or five. Wesley Fofana will be given an abundance of chances to prove his worth having cost £70m, while the Athletic wax lyrical about the player poised to arrive.
Badiashile stands at 6ft 4in tall and is known for his ‘incredible’ speed. He’s also developed a reputation for being someone who can rob opposition players of the ball without having to go to ground.
Despite being just 21, Badiashile has already racked up well over 100 senior appearances for Monaco. Clearly, he’s a player capable of making an immediate impact and could be viewed as Chelsea’s answer to William Saliba at Arsenal.
The odd man out regardless of what formation Potter plays appears to be Koulibaly. If Chelsea can recoup much of what they paid just six months ago, the money could be put towards further additions elsewhere, such as for Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez.
EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea to follow Enzo Fernandez coup with huge raid for Premier League talisman
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