Dujuan Richards hails ‘dream’ Chelsea transfer after Newcastle move hijacked


Dujuan Richards has hailed a “dream come true” after appearing to agree terms on a move to Chelsea.

On Saturday night, the Phoenix All Stars Football Academy in Kingston confirmed on social media that the highly-rated young Jamaican striker had opted for Stamford Bridge over several rival offers, with pictures and videos of him signing a pre-contract agreement.

Though yet to be confirmed by Chelsea, transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano later reported that Richards - known as ‘Whisper’ - had indeed signed for the club but would join officially when he turns 18 in November.

He added that Newcastle had been close to signing Richards following a successful trial period on Tyneside, only for Chelsea to then hijack the deal late with new co-director of recruitment and talent Joe Shields said to have played a crucial role in negotiations.

Romano added that the Blues have now turned their attentions to signing teenage Ecuadorian midfielder Kendry Paez from Independiente Del Valle - the club from whom Brighton signed midfielder Moises Caicedo in 2021 - in the next stage of their youth recruitment drive.

It was a whirlwind weekend for Richards, who after signing for Chelsea went on to make his senior Jamaica debut aged just 17 in the 1-0 friendly defeat by Trinidad and Tobago in Montego Bay on Saturday night - a match that also featured Chelsea’s Omari Hutchinson.

After that major early milestone, the young striker - who also previously spent time at Brooke House College in Leicestershire - could not hide his delight at his impending move to the Premier League.

"What a dream come true,” Richards wrote on social media. “When I am 18 years old I will be able to play in the Premier League and for a club like Chelsea. Champions League winners and with such a high pedigree that I'm still so grateful to God for this opportunity to challenge other great talents on the colosseum of football.

Signing on the dotted line: Dujuan Richards has agreed pre-contract terms with Chelsea (Instagram/@kylebutler_77)
Signing on the dotted line: Dujuan Richards has agreed pre-contract terms with Chelsea (Instagram/@kylebutler_77)

"I would like to thank my coach and manager Craig Butler first for seeing the potential in me and then working on my weaknesses and building me to the level I am now. His guidance and perseverance has resulted in my getting this opportunity and signing this contract. I shudder to think what could have happened if I listened to others and not to Craig Butler.

"I am also grateful to the Phoenix all stars football academy for its investment in all the youths. Providing a place where even if you can't pay no one is left behind. I'm a product of that type of support. My mother and family. What can I say you have been a rock and a fortress to me always seeking what is best for me and sacrificing yourself for me. Mom I love you and I am going to make you proud."