Chelsea set for Caicedo repeat in pursuit of England wonderkid

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • 2 Apr 2024 18:22 BST
  • 4 min read
Moises Caicedo, England, Chelsea, 2023/24

Chelsea’s recruitment strategy over the past 12 months has mostly centred around purchasing the best young talent in world football.

The transfer fees involved have often been fairly large for players with such little experience, but the Blues are banking on their potential and are hoping to avoid a similar scenario to the one in which they were forced to pay €116 million to sign Moises Caicedo from Brighton & Hove Albion.

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Chelsea are hoping to eliminate the need for a middle-man club like Brighton in order to avoid paying such extortionate prices in the future.

READ MORE: 10 players who could join Chelsea this summer

However, they run the risk of suffering the same fate with Crystal Palace midfielder Adam Wharton.

The 19-year-old joined Palace from Blackburn Rovers during the January transfer window, despite huge interest from Chelsea.

READ MORE: 'Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali have DESTROYED Chelsea'

Adam Wharton: Crystal Palace’s latest EFL superstar

Selhurst Park has become a renowned location for young EFL talents to make the step up to Premier League football - with Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze two high-profile examples - and Warton is the latest player to make this jump.

Since arriving for €21.1m, Wharton has been exceptional, with Palace fans even booing Oliver Glasner’s decision to substitute him in the 80th minute against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Just like Olise and Eze, Wharton has adapted to life in the Premier League seamlessly and he looks cut out for a career at the very highest level.

Last season, ex-Blackburn manager Jon Dahl Tomasson admitted that Wharton possesses “Champions League quality” and his call-up to England’s U21 squad for the March internationals was another important step on his way to reaching the top of the European game.

Wharton has started Palace’s last six Premier League matches and his composure on the ball has vastly elevated the potential of Glasner’s squad. He is extremely press-resistant and will be an excellent partner to Cheick Doucoure when the Mali international returns from injury.

Chelsea are known admirers of the former Blackburn midfielder, but their failure to sign him in January means they are now at risk of being forced to overpay if they want to purchase Wharton in the future.

With experience in the Premier league under Wharton’s belt, Palace will demand a huge fee if they are to sell him and Chelsea may be drawn into another transfer dispute just like they were with Caicedo.

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