- 20 March
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Badiashile, Fofana and Santos transfers shape Chelsea's 'Vision 2030' line-up
Todd Boehly's 'Vision 2030' for Chelsea is beginning to take shape with the recent acquisitions of Benoit Badiashile, Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos. How might the Blues line up seven years from now?
Seven years is a long time in football. This time seven years ago, Chelsea were midway through a season in which they surrendered their Premier League title to Leicester, who triumphed against all odds.
The Blues bought N'Golo Kante from the Foxes that summer, but now that Boehly has replaced Roman Abramovich as owner, he has the clear intention of buying and/or moulding players for the future, ones who will retain their value and performance levels by the end of the decade.
READ: Graham Potter needs time MORE than money at Chelsea
Some of Chelsea's current best performers remain young enough to make this imagined 2030 team. Reece James and Mason Mount are a pair of academy graduates who are now full England internationals and will still only be 30 seven years from now.
Ditto Kai Havertz, who leads the line and has now scored four times since Potter succeeded Thomas Tuchel as head coach.
Mount and Havertz should have Datro Fofana for company in the final third long before 2030 rolls around. The Ivorian attacker has joined from Molde for a €10 million fee, and his 15 goals and five assists in 24 Eliteserien games in 2022 are, at the very least, promising.
READ: Who is David Datro Fofana? Chelsea's 'new Didier Drogba'
Further back, the Blues have been linked with a host of midfielders with Kante and Jorginho both now the wrong side of 30 and out of contract at the end of the season, but they now have two of the best young players around in the position.
Big fees now, value later
Carney Chukwuemeka, 19, joined from Aston Villa at the start of the season and impressed during the 68 minutes he got in the recent 1-0 loss to Manchester City, while Andrey Santos was also wanted by Barcelona and Newcastle after scoring eight goals in 33 games - from defensive midfield - from Vasco da Gama last term.
🎥 Andrey Santos - Chelsea’s new Brazilian midfielder. Not just a defensive midfielder pic.twitter.com/XN9x5q4CPl— TheSecretScout (@TheSecretScout_) January 7, 2023
At the back, French pair Badiashile and Wesley Fofana account for €118.4m of defensive talent. Both are still eligible for the nation's under-21 team. Behind them, Goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina is just 18, but has already been called up to the senior USA squad, although he remains uncapped.
There are more in the squad beyond the aforementioned, with the likes of Armando Broja, Omari Huthinson, Levi Colwill and Cesare Casadei will provide youthful competition in the years to come.
Chelsea are 10th in the Premier League table and it might not seem like it to fans right now, but Boehly's 'Vision 2030' is already beginning to come into focus.