Chelsea have secured the signing of 15 year-old Dutch prodigy Nathan Aké from Eredivisie club Feyenoord for what's rumoured to be a fee of around £230,000, according to Chelsea blog TheChels.net. Aké, who turns 16 in February, is a technically gifted left-footed defender who was also pursued by Manchester City. As you can see in the video below, he also has rather excellent hair, something I think all players should aspire towards:
No, I don't understand Dutch either. I did hear 'Rio Ferdinand' in there, which I'm interpreting as the answer to either 'who would you compare yourself to?' or 'who would you enjoy kicking?'
As far as I can tell, the transfer isn't actually official yet. I'm not positive on the rules behind signing youth players, but it might have to wait until the January window to complete. Oh, and Feyenoord aren't happy:
It's driving me crazy that hot prospects are walking away from us like this. The Premier League clubs spoil the market with their behaviour. Other clubs in Europe aren't doing this kind of thing, but the English sides just don't care.
-Leo Beenhakker, Feyenoord Sporting Director. Source: Sport.co.uk.
I have some sympathy for Feyenoord here, but the reason it's the English teams doing the poaching is because the Premier League is the most successful league in the world. It's hardly a surprise that prospects want a chance to play for teams like Chelsea, Manchester United, and Arsenal.
There's other news afoot as well. Gael Kakuta, young French winger extraordinaire, was supposedly on the verge of signing a four-year contract but is now also set to be sent out on loan for the remainder of the season in order to get more first-team experience - perhaps with our former Champions League foes Marseille. Per the ChelseaYouth twitter feed, French news outlets are reporting the pursuit from Ligue Un teams as an intense 'race' to acquire the 19 year-old, who is widely believed to be a future star with both France and Chelsea.
ChelseaYouth also reports that Fabio Borini's agent is making some noise about the reserve striker's future. While Borini has been in outstanding form with Chelsea's second team, he's never been given much of a chance with the senior squad, and the Italian, 19, may be looking for opportunities elsewhere. According to his agent, we should "expect [an update] in the coming days."