It’s taken several months and a couple of setbacks, but centre back Xavier Mbuyamba was finally able to make his Chelsea U23 debut, coming off the bench against Southampton U23 on Monday night — and even getting on the scoresheet for a debut goal as Chelsea went on to win 3-1, with goals also from Tino Anjorin and 16-year-old Silko Thomas, who was also making his debut at this age level.
The 19-year-old Mbuyamba joined Chelsea in the summer on a free transfer from Barcelona, completing a move that should’ve happened a year prior but was made impossible by Chelsea’s transfer ban. And then his debut was delayed by a couple of injuries as well as a follow-up surgery in November.
Lots of good from #CFCDev tonight: Anjorin productive and decisive as always, Ballo showing his versatility playing CM, Mbuyamba with a nice cameo and goal, and a very well-rounded debut from the 16yo Silko Thomas, who got a goal and an assist. Can be very pleased with that.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) April 12, 2021
In addition to his goal, Mbuyamba made several well-judged tackles and interceptions, as well as several cross-field long passes to the wingers, in his 25 or so minutes of composed action. He also blocked a shot. All in all, a very solid performance, and hopefully he can carry on from here.