Chelsea continued their shopping spree, bringing over defender Benoît Badiashile from Monaco.
The quality transfers continue to roll in for Chelsea, and it’s still only the first week of January. First, the blues addressed their ongoing attacking woes by signing a young Ivory Coast international talent in David Datro Fofana. Continuing their shopping spree, Chelsea then signed Monaco defender Benoît Badiashile on a reported seven-and-a-half year deal worth $38.28 million.
The 21-year-old center-back will look to diversify manager Graham Potter’s choices for selection between veteran Thiago Silva and the signings Kalidou Kouliably and now-injured Wesley Fofana. The Athletic has reported that Badiashile was a priority target for the team’s defense after disagreeing on personal terms with RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol last summer. Alas, the Stamford Bridge newcomer and Fofana will spearhead the club’s plan to sign promising young talent for long-term deals.
Despite not securing a place in France’s 2022 World Cup endeavors under manager Didier Deschamps, the young defender earned a name for himself at Monaco. The former Ligue 1 standout dazzled soccer figures worldwide with his 6-foot-4 stature, ability to read the game, and elite aerial capabilities that seemingly allow him to win any ball played through the air. The France international has 135 senior appearances under his belt, including 17 in European competitions. From his vast experience at such a young age, Badiashile developed a reputation for being wise beyond his years and bringing experience that most 21-year-olds can’t provide.
The transfer also signals further validation of Chelsea’s lavish spending habits. Led by chairperson Todd Boehly, Chelsea made history by spending a mind-blowing $322.30 million over the summer. Most of that money was spent on Marc Cucurella, Kouliably, and Fofana, who pride themselves on having a high work rate that results in winning the ball.
That style of play perfectly suits the physicality that the blues are trying to reconstruct after losing Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid on a free transfer and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona last summer. Badiashile will have stiff competition with the backline above members of Chelsea’s defense. However, he’ll likely be inserted quickly into the injury-plagued defense, allowing him to seal down a permanent center-back role with the club.
Benoît Badiashile Chelsea Transfer Details
Deal agreed on: Jan 1, 2023.
Reported Years: 6
Reported Transfer fee: $38,280,000
Badiashile’s estimated market value: $40,000,000 via Transfermarkt
Benoît Badiashile Stats Per 90
|Category||Stat Per 90||Percentile|
|Aerials Win %||77.1%||97|
How Badiashile Fits in at Chelsea
At Monaco, Badiashile showcased qualities that modern-day defensive anchors need to succeed in today’s game: the ability to sweep away through balls and passes that try to sneak through while also playing balls forward. To date, 59% of his 666 passes have been played forward this season; that staggering progressive statistic makes him the fourth-best at the position in Ligue 1.
Out of his 50 most recent appearances on the pitch, 38 have been spent as a central defender, with 12 additional appearances coming as the left-sided center-back. As a naturally left-footed player, his fit at Chelsea would best suit replacing the 38-year-old Silva, whose contract at the club is set to expire this June. However, Badiashile’s future as a key first-team member of the squad could transpire through the current injuries of Wesley Fofana, Reece James, and Ben Chilwell.
Throughout the club’s 2022-23 campaign, Chelsea has tinkered with their deployments and formations. Under Potter, the club runs their famous 3-4-3-1 formation and a 4-3-3. A back three formation would best fit Badiashile as the left center-back, with Koulibably anchoring the middle. In a back four, he could dawn the same role working in tandem with Koulibably as Cucurella and Azpillcueta command the rear flanks.
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