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Chelsea make enquiry for Amadou Haidara — report

SS Lazio v RB Salzburg - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final Leg Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

France Football reported yesterday that Chelsea and Tottenham have joined the chase for Redbull Salzburg's Amadou Haidara, a very promising and versatile midfielder who lit up both the Austrian Bundesliga and the Europa League this year. At the moment, the Blues have reportedly made contact with the Austrian side about the player.

While Spurs seem to have made a more “concrete” approach, Chelsea nevertheless remain keen on signing the 20-year old Mali international. Salzburg's parent club, RB Leipzig are understood to be leading the race right now (surprise, surprise) as they perceive Haidara as an adequate successor for the departing Naby Keita, who's off to Liverpool.

Salzburg's sponsor may be the cause of debate, especially among the German football community, but one thing nobody can deny is that they bring through young and very talented players. Both Keita and Sadio Mané, who now play for Liverpool, were initially in Salzburg and these are merely two of a great number of other examples.

Japan v Mali - International Friendly Photo by Jörg Schüler/Getty Images

Haidara was rather magnificent in this year's Europa League and, together with his midfield partner Diadie Samassékou, dominated the midfield battles against Salzburg's opposition. Despite Salzburg eventually bowing out against Marseille in the semis, Haidara certainly succeeded in making a name for himself.

A box to box midfielder by trade, the 20-year old plays with an immense amount of power and agility, his play-style and driving runs being very reminiscent of the aforementioned Naby Keita. Haidara was also able to score 3 goals and 8 assists in 31 league games, as well as 2 goals in Europe (both in the knockout stages).

Despite his “smaller” physical stature, Haidara compensates for it quite well with his drive and ruggedness, always giving it his all until the final whistle. Also, the youngster's always got an eye for a good pass, and possesses a quick pair of feet. One of Haidara's weaknesses, however, is being prone to conceding possession. His tactical awareness still needs some fine tuning, too.

Overall, the Salzburg midfielder is certainly an exciting prospect and, at merely 20-years of age, has loads of potential to become as good a player as Keita is, if not better. Whether or not Haidara would be able to emulate the former's development at a tough place like Chelsea is another question, of course, as a place in the Loan Army would probably be his immediate future.

One aspect that works in Chelsea's favour is that there's been a reported reluctance of Salzburg to constantly sell their players to Leipzig on the cheap and thus are looking to sell to big European clubs.

Generally, I'd definitely be down with Chelsea signing Amadou Haidara for the above mentioned reasons but we'll just have to be patient and keep an eye on this one.

For starters, here's the typical Youtube skills video:

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