Enzo Maresca has made his Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall stance clear to Chelsea ahead of transfer swoop

Leicester City Manager Enzo Maresca and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall of Leicester City celebrate after the Sky Bet Championship match between Leicester City and Southampton FC at King Power Stadium on April 23, 2024 in Leicester, United Kingdom.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

As Chelsea's hunt for Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall continues, new manager Enzo Maresca has already outlined how the star will fit into his squad ahead of the 2024/25 campaign.

Having won Leicester City's Player of the Season award during their Championship-winning campaign together, it's no surprise to see that the Italian wants to reunite with the English midfielder and bring him to Chelsea, even if it meant hijacking a proposed deal between the Foxes and Brighton which would've seen Dewsbury-Hall swapped for Jakub Moder who had already agreed to the move.

Now it's reported that the Blues have submitted a formal offer after the 25-year-old declined to join Brighton with his full focus now said to be on a move to Stamford Bridge. If confirmed, it's again likely Chelsea will try to sign the star on a long-term contract - a recurring theme in the club's financial business model since the arrival of American owner Todd Boehly and his Clearlake consortium of investors two years ago.

Dewsbury-Hall's arrival would be the club's third in this summer's window already, with Fulham centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo's free move setting him up to replace Thiago Silva in the defensive line while Brazilian wonderkid Estevao Willian will join the Blues next summer when he turns 18.

Moves for young Barcelona forward Marc Guiu and Omari Kellyman from Aston Villa are currently being finalised with Maresca seeming to continue Chelsea's push for a younger, more potential-led transfer market plan as opposed to some supporters' wish for experience to fill in the holes which were seen as times last season.

Dewsbury-Hall will no doubt offer that youthful exuberance that Boehly and those at the top are consistently after, but will also blend in well with his background of winning silverware at Leicester under Maresca - something that the Italian himself highlighted while at the King Power Stadium last season.

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Speaking in November last year, Maresca claimed: "Kiernan is probably the player that since we have started I can realise he has improved more than the rest. Now in this moment, he has the calmness that that kind of player needs

"At the beginning, he was full of responsibility because he’s from the academy and after relegation, these things. After the first international break, he calmed down, and now if you’re watching the game as a fan, it’s a pleasure to watch Kiernan and see how calm he is.

"He's fantastic with the ball, he knows when to attack and what to give the team. He is so dangerous near the box, and has the quality to score or assist from anywhere. He’s always giving the pass, getting assists. Unfortunately for him, his team-mates, they miss many goals, but otherwise 10 or 15 assists already."

In the January transfer window, Maresca repeatedly highlighted his worry that Dewsbury-Hall would be picked up by a Premier League club over the winter period due to his outstanding displays in the Championship, and admitted the midfielder wasn't distracted by any transfer speculation that was happening at the time.

"Tonight he showed how he takes care of his club," Maresca said. "He’s scored already 10 goals probably for the first time in his life. This kind of thing, people don’t give the right importance and it’s not a good thing.

"No [I didn’t have to speak to Kiernan], he’s a Leicester player, he played tonight, and hopefully he can play the next one. He showed tonight how he’s in love with the club, how he’s in love with Leicester.

"Now if something happens, I don’t know. I don’t want Kiernan to go. Ask the club if we need to sell or not. The only way we can do something is to sell players. I don’t think that Kiernan’s future was about this game. Kiernan is a Leicester player, hopefully he can play in the next game. Here, he showed once again he is in love with the club, if something will happen now, I don’t know.

Finally, at the end of the season, Maresca was more relaxed and revealed the human connection between the two, recalling a conversation from months prior where the pair had placed a bet on his abilities in front of goal for the season ahead.

"We were in Thailand in pre-season and I sat with Kiernan and I said that his numbers were very bad, in terms of goals and assists. With us, this season, he was going to score more goals and assists.

"I said to him: ‘If you score 10 goals, you’re going to buy dinner for me.’ And he said: ‘Okay, but if I score 12, you’re going to pay for me.’ At the end, he scored 12, so I’m going to pay for him."