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What Romeo Lavia once said about Enzo Maresca speaks volumes about Chelsea decision

Romeo Lavia of Chelsea
-Credit: (Image: Visionhaus/Getty Images)


Another new dawn at Chelsea is on the horizon as the Blues enter negotiations with Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca. The Italian led the Foxes back to the Premier League after one year away, winning the Championship ahead of challengers Ipswich Town, Leeds United and Southampton.

football.london understands that most of the groundwork has been done on a move for the former Manchester City development coach, but there are still a number of candidates in the running to make the move to West London. Roberto De Zerbi and Thomas Frank are in contention, but Maresca remains the frontrunner to succeed Mauricio Pochettino after his shock dismissal.

From his time at City, the 44-year-old will have had experience with Chelsea stars Cole Palmer and Romeo Lavia. Palmer has defied the critics after his surprise move to the capital from Greater Manchester in the summer, netting 22 goals in 34 Premier League appearances and adding 11 assists.

Lavia, on the other hand, hasn't hit the heights that his potential offers. Injuries ravaged the Belgian youngster's debut campaign at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea won the well-publicised battle with Liverpool to sign the Southampton midfielder.

The 20-year-old's first season with the Blues in the top-flight lasted a mere 32 minutes after he came on as a substitute midway through the second-half. Chelsea's bloated squad consists of high-earners on lengthy multi-year contracts, which leaves Maresca with a decision to make not only with his prospective new squad but in the transfer window too.

Lavia will be looking to hit the ground running under a manager who oversaw his development after making the move from Belgian giants Anderlecht. As unfortunate as it was under Pochettino, with circumstances out of his control, the 20-year-old can look to kickstart his Chelsea career under Maresca, and he has already described the impact he has had.

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"I really enjoy recovering the ball and pass through the lines," he told GOAL in 2021. "Enzo's helped me a lot with that, always being on the half-turn so I can see the game going forward, so it’s not a problem now.

"I know that I’ve got my qualities, but if I do something wrong they help me. Obviously my team-mates have got experience - some of them have trained with the first team. They’ve helped me a lot and I’ll keep learning."

Conor Gallagher continues to be frequently linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, despite captaining the side to European football after an end-of-season surge under Pochettino. The England international has one-year remaining on his current deal, with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur rumoured to hold an interest.

A return to fitness for Lavia would add him to an extensive list of midfield options for Maresca, with the likes of £200million midfield duo Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo among them. The prospective arrival of the Leicester City boss has raised concerns, but Lavia has already shown that he can get the best out of players.