Gabriel Moscardo has world-class potential - but Chelsea's pursuit makes no sense

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • 28 Nov 2023 20:18 GMT
  • 4 min read
Chelsea and Arsenal want to sign Gabriel Moscardo
© ProShots

Gabriel Moscardo is seen as the next big thing to emerge from Brazil’s production line, with the Corinthians star regarded as one of the very best midfield prospects in world football.

At just 18 years old, Moscardo has been compared to Arsenal’s Declan Rice, while he has previously been touted as Barcelona’s long-term Sergio Busquets heir.

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Praise doesn’t come much higher and Moscardo is deserving of such acclaim given his immense performances in Corinthians’ senior team and his extremely high ceiling.

Nominally a defensive midfielder, the Brazilian youngster possesses the ability to drive forward with the ball and a maturity well beyond his years. Moscardo is also defensively-sound and assured in possession - he is almost the dream midfield prospect.

The key word, however, is that he is currently a prospect and not the finished article. After all, Moscardo’s impressive start to life in senior football has come in the Brazilian top flight, not in a big European league.

But, that hasn’t dissuaded the likes of Barcelona, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain from sounding him out as a key transfer target.

The latter two clubs appear best placed for a move as things stand and Chelsea were even reported to have reached an agreement to sign Moscardo for €26 million in late November. That was reported by Corinthians presenter and ex-player Neto, who revealed on YouTube that the Brazilian was Stamford Bridge-bound.

Chelsea fans’ excitement grew exponentially with this news, although many were left questioning why their club were pursuing yet another talented midfielder. That school of thought is particularly pertinent given their transfer activity since Todd Boehly became owner in 2022.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has since reported that a deal between Corinthians and Chelsea hasn’t been agreed, and has revealed that it’s PSG who currently lead the race to sign Moscardo, but the point still stands.

Chelsea want to sign Moscardo and are actively pursuing the Brazilian. He’s a world-class talent, but that pursuit makes little-to-no sense.

Chelsea don’t need Moscardo

The Blues have become obsessed with signing the next shiny new toy since Boehly became owner last year, yet that hasn’t helped their performances on the pitch in the slightest.

Signs of recovery were promising following an impressive run of results before the November international break, but reality hit when Newcastle smashed them 4-1 at St James’ Park on Saturday.

Chelsea are still very much in the infancy stages of their new project, with young players at the heart of their future plans.

Therefore, interest in Moscardo does make slight sense, but Chelsea’s strategy of signing every talented youngster possible and pitting them against each other in a bid to ensure the best players make it at the club is inherently flawed.

Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke have both taken backwards steps in their development since joining and their transfer value has decreased rather than increased following their respective moves to Stamford Bridge.

Mykhailo Mudryk joined Chelsea in January 2023
© ProShots - Mykhailo Mudryk joined Chelsea in January 2023

Furthermore, Andrey Santos’ growth has completely stalled thanks to a disastrous loan spell at Nottingham Forest.

The new strategy was seemingly devised to avoid spending €116m on a player like Moises Caicedo and instead aim to buy them directly without the need for a middle man like Brighton.

However, that doesn’t work if there isn’t a first-team pathway, and that is already becoming a problem at Chelsea.

Currently, the Blues have a roster of extremely talented young central midfielders at Mauricio Pochettino’s disposal, yet they still want to sign Moscardo.

Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo, Romeo Lavia, Lesley Ugochukwu, Conor Gallagher, Carney Chukwuemeka, Andrey Santos, Cesare Casadei and Alex Matos are all employed by Chelsea, not to mention academy star Leo Castledine and the likes of Cole Palmer and Christopher Nkunku, who could play in the No.10 position in a 4-2-3-1.

Adding Moscardo to the mix is therefore inherently unnecessary, especially considering the fact that a new first-choice goalkeeper and a new striker are both seen as priorities ahead of 2024.

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