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Chelsea, Juventus linked with young Bologna midfielder -- report

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Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images

In the last transfer window, Chelsea were among a number of teams reportedly interested in Ghanaian midfielder Godfred Donsah. But instead of joining one of the big names he was supposedly linked with, the player ended up joining Serie A club Bologna instead. Now, Gianluca Di Marzio reports that Chelsea, along with Milan and Juventus, are interested in his club and midfield colleague Amadou Diawara.

Born in Guinea, the 18-year-old midfielder started his professional career at San Marino last season. His performances were enough to raise interest from Bologna, which acquired him in the last transfer window. Following a rather shaky start in his first game in Serie A against Lazio, coming as a sub for Lorenzo Crisetig in the 83rd minute, Diawara struck a rich vein of form and thanks to a series of good performances, he's cemented himself as first choice in the team.

Diawara is usually lined up as the most central player in Bologna's midfield trio, also lying deeper than his colleagues. From there, he offers himself as the first passing option for the team's defenders, shielding the ball from harm with his frame from any opponent. From this position, he either builds up play with short passes or initiates runs towards the box -- probably inspired by his role model Yaya Touré. He's quite good in setting himself up to tackle opponents and intercept passes with his tactical sense. He's also got plenty of speed and stamina to recover when he gets caught of position. His major weakness seems to be his technique, as his first touch looks quite heavy at times, and he's far from a good dribbler or a much of a precise passer.

Given that Chelsea seem to be linked with just about every promising hot young midfield prospect in Italy these days, it's hard to put any more or any less substance in these latest rumors than the ones that have come before.  It certainly feels like Chelsea really want a new  young midfielder, but whether Diawara's anywhere near polished enough for a first-team role or would just be another recruit for the "loan army" is not clear.   (Probably the latter.)