Premier League side Chelsea have confirmed the arrival of central defender Benoit Badiashile from Ligue 1 outfit Monaco on a seven and a half year deal.
Badiashile, 21, emerged as a serious target for Chelsea In the January transfer window before it opened and the Blues have wasted no time in sealing the transfer for a fee that is reported to be €37m (£32.76m)
Badiashile said “I’m very happy to be here at Chelsea. I’m so excited to start playing for this club. I can’t wait to see the fans and start playing in the best league in the world.”
Chelsea Chairman Todd Boehly and co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali added: “We’re delighted to welcome Benoit to Chelsea. He’s an excellent young player who has quickly established a strong reputation for himself and has a huge amount of experience for his young age. We are sure he will form an important part of our team in the years ahead.”
Badiashile becomes the team’s second January signing after the arrival of David Datro Fofana, who signed a pre-contract agreement to move from Molde, arriving at the club on January 1.
The Blues continue to be heavily linked with World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez from Benfica, but the Portuguese club are holding firm, and want the fee paid in full to activate his release clause, which is over £100m.
They are also reportedly interested in Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk but London rivals Arsenal are believed to be leading that race.
EXPERT VIEW – BADIASHILE HAS PROMISE, BUT IS FAR FROM THE FINISHED PRODUCT YET
Eurosport France’s Jean-Baptiste Duluc is not convinced that Badiashile is ready for Chelsea yet, but says the player from Monaco has talent.
He added: “He lacks consistency and concentration but has worked to correct that. He makes good passes, he has a precise left foot.
“One of his strengths is his ability to win many aerial duels. Not only an athletic player but surprising technical skills given his size.
HE CERTAINLY HAS A LOT OF POTENTIAL BUT STILL SUFFERS A LACK OF CONCENTRATION.
“Too often, he doesn’t defend the spaces in behind him too well. Still, he was selected by Didier Deschamps last September, ahead of Clement Lenglet.”
Comparing him to a former Monaco youth player, Aurelien Tchouameni, Duluc beileves Badiashile is more raw.
“He’s not as ready for high level as Tchouaméni was,” he explained. “It seems a little too early for him.