Everything seemed set for Xavier Mbuyamba to become a Chelsea player last summer.
The highly coveted MVV Maastricht youngster, 17 at the time, had been on trial at Chelsea and his head coach admitted there was little chance of him returning to the Dutch Second Divison outfit from London.
But cosmic forces conspired against him, and with Chelsea unable to sign any players over the age of 16 last summer thanks to FIFA’s transfer ban — which would only be halved on appeal six months later — Mbuyamba would end up going elsewhere.
That elsewhere turns out to have been Barcelona, certainly not a poor substitute in terms of Academy quality. Mbuyamba joined on a four-year contract and he did well for Barça’s U19s, winning the national tournament for the age range and training regularly with their B-team.
However, the institution are in a bit of shambles at the moment, from top to bottom, and Mbuyamba’s agent is looking to move his client to a more stable environment.
Top of his list? Chelsea!
“The ambiguity is enormous. A new presidential election is coming and it could be that many new people will join the board. Politically it is very restless and in a sporting sense there is a lot of division. If you see that even Ansu Fati can be loaned out… How can you break through as a talent?”
“Almost all major clubs in Europe have asked about Xavier. Real Madrid are also there, they are serious about their youth system, but that would of course be a sensitive switch. Juventus and Inter are interested, as are top clubs from Germany and England. Chelsea have the best papers. Of course we discussed this extensively last year.
“Chelsea gave a fantastic presentation. There is a unique football atmosphere there. You immediately sit with the first-team players during lunch and the club has outlined a very ambitious plan for Xavier. They really think that in one to two years, he can be in the first team. Frank Lampard has of course already proven that he is not afraid to play with young players. Being in the starting line-up at Chelsea at the age of twenty would, of course, be great.”
-Carlos Barros; source: Voetbal International via Google Translate
Correcting the record on Mbuyamba will probably not be cheap. But when there is a will, there is a way.