Reports: Arsenal to make shock €21m move for Chelsea midfielder in January
What's the story?
Arsenal are ready to confirm their interest in Charly Musonda with a bid for Chelsea's most promising prospect in January, according to multiple reports in the British press. The Belgian midfielder has already voiced his displeasure at a lack of playing time on social media earlier this season and has informed the Blues of his intention to depart in January. Arsene Wenger rates Musonda highly, and the Gunners are reportedly going to swoop in with €21 million bid in January for the promising Belgian, hoping to take advantage of the fact that Chelsea will be forced to sell.
In case you didn't know...
At the tender age of 6, Musonda began his football career in RSC Anderlecht's youth setup in 2002. By the time he was 15, he had already been linked to the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Manchester United. Ultimately, Chelsea won the battle for his signature in 2012 by also signing his two older brothers, and paying Anderlecht a 'compensation' fee of £2.25 million. He was sent out on loan to Real Betis in January of the 2015/16 season, which was extended for the 2016/17 season as well, before Chelsea recalled him in January 2017, with Musonda eventually making his debut for the Blues in the EFL Cup tie this season.
The heart of the matter
Despite joining Real Betis in January, Charly Musonda finished the 2015/16 La Liga season with only Neymar (75) having completed more successful dribbles than him (57).
His dribbling and pace are his best assets, but the youngster has struggled to find game time under Antonio Conte this season, leading to a frustrated outburst on Instagram, where he said "You sacrifice, you work hard, harder, you give more than what’s expected, and often more than you can because you love what you do and clearly more than you should. And what do you get back? Literally nothing… Done."
Arsenal hope to secure the youngster's signature, with the Gunners hoping that Arsene Wenger's reputation for giving youth a chance will sway things in their favour. As Musonda's contract runs out in 2019, Arsenal reportedly feel that they can tempt Chelsea with a cut-price €21 million deal for the Belgian youngster in the January transfer window.
Arsenal have already profited from signing a former Chelsea player in the form of Eddie Nketiah this season, and if they manage to pull off this deal, it could turn out to be another masterstroke.
Chelsea have to take a long look at themselves after watching so many of the young players they have developed leave, although the strategy seems to be working in terms of finances.