Chelsea have officially confirmed the January arrival of AS Monaco and France defender Benoit Badiashile on a seven-and-a-half year deal.
Badiashile, 21, becomes the West London side’s second January addition following the signing of forward David Datro Fofana from Norwegian club Molde. The Frenchman has joined the Blues for €37 million.
The Monaco academy graduate made his first-team debut for the club back in 2018, and had previously been linked with a move to Manchester United following his breakout season in Ligue 1.
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The acquisition of Badiashile continues Chelsea’s recent transfer policy of signing the best young talent across world football as Todd Boehly splashes the cash in order to help build for the future.
Since the American billionaire took ownership of the Stamford Bridge club in 2022, Chelsea have signed Wesley Fofana (21), Carney Chukwuemeka (19), Cesare Casadei (19), Omari Hutchinson (19), Eddie Beach (19), Gabriel Slonina (18), and Zak Sturge (18), as well as the aforementioned David Datro Fofana and now Badiashile.
Brazilian youngster Andrey Santos has also been heavily linked with a transfer to the 2021 Champions League winners, and has reportedly completed his medical at the club.
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It signals a shift in focus as Chelsea aim to plan for the future, rather than simply the present day. Badiashile fits that plan perfectly, with the Frenchman a nice blend of youth and experience. Despite being just 21 years old, he featured 135 times for Monaco during his time at the club, and has been a regular since breaking into the senior set-up in the 2018/19 season.
Badiashile to Chelsea
It’s believed Badiashile will provide competition for Thiago Silva, Kalidou Koulibaly, Trevoh Chalobah and the aforementioned Fofana for a place in Chelsea’s backline.
Graham Potter has recently shifted towards a 4-3-3 formation, meaning Badiashile will look to play as the left centre-back in that system. He will also become the first left-footed centre-back in Chelsea’s first-team squad, although Marc Cucurella has played on the left of a back three this term.
However, Levi Colwill’s potential return from his loan spell at Brighton and Hove Albion at the end of the season could provide a problem for Badiashile, who may be faced with extra competition for a spot in the starting XI at Stamford Bridge.
But, he has shown his qualities in Ligue 1 for several years, with his passing range, aerial ability and aggressive defending style three strong points in his game.