Rumour has it that Petr Cech isn’t the only Chelsea player Arsenal have designs on taking this summer, with £8.5m-worth of ammunition being loaded into the transfer cannon and aimed at Blues youngster Charly Musonda.
A star of the Premier League champions’ Under-21 outfit, the Belgian youth international is thought to be keen on a move away from west London over fears regarding his chances of making it into the first-team.
Both Chelsea and Jose Mourinho have unenviable records of blooding youngsters, suggesting the former Anderlecht prodigy is right to harbour this trepidation.
But, instead of selling him, the Blues plan on loaning Musonda out for the 2015/16 campaign, as is protocol for the legion of talented teenagers they’ve spent recent seasons hoovering up, with Marseille the most high-profile of the interested parties.
Arsenal aren’t keen on a temporary deal, instead preferring to buy outright and the large sum of money they’re prepared to pay for a player who has never kicked a first-team football indicates how highly Arsene Wenger rates the Belgian whizz.
The Gunners wanted to sign him from Anderlecht when he was a 16-year-old, but he opted for Chelsea instead, who also took two of his brothers from the same academy.
But why have the north Londoners taken such a fancy to Musonda?
He’s a slight-of-frame attacking-midfielder whose physical stature is believed to be a detriment to his long-term prospects of success at Chelsea, but such a flaw has never been an issue for Wenger.
His dribbling ability is exceptional, while he’s also prone to shooting with power from range.
Able to play on either flank, Musonda is best suited to a central-berth and has a tendency to drop deep to retrieve the ball then using his agility and quick feet to beat opponents and carry the ball into the final third.
Furthermore, an especially courageous showing in Chelsea’s UEFA Youth League final win over Shakhtar Donetsk is a testament to his strength of character and ability to flourish on the big occasion.
He’s a player with mounds of potential and, at £8.5m, Musonda would represent the second shrewd deal Arsenal made with Chelsea this summer.