Chelsea are reportedly leading the race over for Barcelona wonderkid Xavier Mbuyamba, who has been compared to a young Virgil van Dijk.
According to The Sun, Chelsea might be close to landing one of the many defensive wonderkids emerging from Netherlands. Barcelona youngster Xavier Mbuyamba, who has been compared to a young Virgil van Dijk, is reportedly being courted by the Premier League giants, the player’s agent has stated.
Carlos Barros, Mbuyamba’s agent, has confirmed the interest of many European bigwigs, including Real Madrid, in the 18-year-old defender.
Juvenil A defender Xavier Mbuyamba has informed Barcelona that he would like to take on a new challenge. The talented Dutchman still has a long-term contract in Catalonia, but sees less prospect of a breakthrough due to the ‘mess’ at the club. [vi] pic.twitter.com/dQuTB2Y0SQ
— barcacentre (from 🏡) (@barcacentre) May 18, 2020
He told Voetbal International as quoted by The Sun, “Almost all major clubs in Europe have asked about Xavier. Real Madrid are also there. Juventus and Inter are interested, as are top clubs from Germany and England. Chelsea have the best papers. Chelsea gave a fantastic presentation. There is a unique football atmosphere there.
“You immediately sit with the first-team players during lunch and the club has outlined a very ambitious plan for Xavier. They really think that in one to two years, he can be in the first-team. Frank Lampard has of course already proven that he is not afraid to play with young players. Being in the starting line-up at Chelsea at the age of 20 would, of course, be great.”
Xavier Mbuyamba is not an ordinary 18-year-old defender. The centre-back was already a first-team star for MVV Maastricht when Barcelona came calling last year. Mbuyamba though, has found it difficult to get going at the Nou Camp, with just 3 appearances in the UEFA Under-19 Champions League, unable to break into the Barcelona B squad so far.
Mbuyamba’s agent is keen to resume his client’s progress and regular game time is an essential part of it. Barcelona have had a recent history of youngsters leaving citing no clear pathway into the first-team setup, an example being Louie Barry, who joined and left soon after.
As noted in the statement of Mbuyamba’s agent, Chelsea have undergone a youth revolution after the appointment of Frank Lampard. The promotions of Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori, Reece James and Billy Gilmour have caught everyone’s attention and accentuated Chelsea’s status from being a youth cultivator to a propagator.
Chelsea have made an exciting move already by agreeing a deal for Hakim Ziyech and could add Mbuyamba by the looks of it. Barcelona will have to drive a hard bargain in order to convince the 18-year-old Dutch youngster to stay put.