Chelsea have signed 18-year-old Carney Chukwuemeka from Aston Villa on a six-year deal worth around £20m.
The midfielder made 12 Premier League appearances last season but only started twice and is understood to be keen on getting more top-flight playing time.
“It’s been quite hectic but I haven’t been able to get Chelsea out of my head for the past few days, so I’m just happy and relieved that it’s all done,” Chukwuemeka said.
“I’m so excited and just can’t wait to get on the pitch, meet all the players and try to win games and trophies with Chelsea.”
Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly added: “Carney is one of the most exciting young players in Europe so we can’t wait to see him in action at Stamford Bridge. We’re delighted to be able to bring him to Chelsea and to add such a talented young individual to our squad for the new season and beyond.”
The Blues have already signed Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly this summer, as well as teenagers Eddie Beach from Southampton and Omari Hutchinson from Arsenal.
At the end of July, Sky Sports News reported that Chukwuemeka – who was part of the England U19 squad that won the European Championship title in the summer – had no interest in discussing a new contract with the club. he’s been with since he was 12.
Barcelona had expressed interest, while Borussia Dortmund had inquired about signing him and Chukwuemeka was keen to speak to Dortmund about the possibility, having seen the opportunities offered to other young England exports such as Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham.
‘£20m is a bargain for Villa’
Sky Sports News chief journalist Kaveh Solhekol:
“He’s been described as one of the best young players in England, the reason Aston Villa sold him is because he only has one year left on his contract.
“When it became clear he was not going to sign a new contract, he was dropped from their squad for their pre-season tour. Aston Villa were ready to let him go as long as they got the right price. From Villa’s point of view, £20m for an 18-year-old is a bargain.
“He was also part of the England U19 team that won Euro U19 last month and he was part of the team of the tournament.
“Chelsea aren’t just signing big name players like Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling, they’re almost taking a two-way approach this summer, buying some of England’s best young players.
“They signed Omari Hutchinson, an 18-year-old winger from Arsenal, and they also added Carney Chukwuemeka.”
Reddy: Chukwuemeka is a gem for Villa’s academy
Sky Sports News senior reporter Melissa Reddy:
“Chukwuemeka is a very good player. At 16, he was considered the best 16-year-old player in the country, he was already a starter for Villa U23s and is the pearl of their youth system, of which they are very proud.
“It’s very surprising – not in the way Chelsea caused a few shocks – but we thought he would go elsewhere in Europe. Dortmund were very enthusiastic, so were Milan, Barcelona went very far in the negotiations. It was just the valuation that discouraged these teams.
“While he has phenomenal talent at 18, it’s still a bit expensive to pay when there’s no guarantee on how he will continue to develop.
“Chelsea have provided themselves with a kid who has extraordinary vision, so composed in possession, aware of the dribble and has real confidence in himself. I’m excited to see how he will develop if given the opportunity to play. move forward like he did at Villa.”
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