Chelsea and Antonio Conte are interested in a summer move AFC Ajax’s Dutch defender Jairo Riedewald.
According to Transfermarketweb, the 20-year-old defender has emerged as a target for Premier League Champions. The report states that though Ajax might be unwilling to sell the youngster, an offer of around €15 million may be enough for the Dutch giants to part with him.
If Tribal Football are to be believed, then the Blues reportedly made the inquiry after the youngster was endorsed by Piet de Vissier – an ex-manager and scout, who has been a close personal advisor to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich from the past 12 years.
The 82-year-old Dutchman was the same person who brought the likes of Ronaldo and Romario from Brazil to Europe and he was also responsible in bringing Arjen Robben to Chelsea. Needless to say, a recommendation from him would definitely have gotten the Blues curious.
Jairo Riedewald joined Ajax’s youth system at the age of 11 from SV Overbos in 2007. After progressing through the youth ranks, he was handed his first professional deal in 2013, a 3-year-contract. Frank de Boer would hand him his senior debut in December 2013 in a KNVB Cup match.
Since then, he has made over 90 appearances for de Godenzonen and scored 3 goals and won 1 Eredivisie title in that time. He has proven his versatility by playing as a center-back, left-back and as a defensive midfielder for both Frank de Boer and Peter Bosz, when called upon.
This kind of versatility will no doubt interest Conte, who is in the hunt for defensive reinforcements as he prepares his side for a return to the UEFA Champions League after a season away. While Riedewald would no doubt be a good signing, it wouldn’t spell good news for Chelsea’s youngsters.
Jairo’s compatriot Nathan Ake, who was recalled in the midst of a productive loan spell at Bournemouth was primed for a more important role in the team in the upcoming season, much like Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen after the departure of John Terry.
The arrival of another youngster would result in one of them being under utilised or sent out on loan. While the aforementioned €15 million would barely make a dent in Chelsea’s coffers, the Blues may be better off looking within their own squad and giving their youth a chance to rise to occasion, before making a move for Riedewald.