Kendry Páez isn’t allowed to join Chelsea for another 18 months as per FIFA regulations (not to mention per the terms agreed with us), but his exploits in Ecuador continue to raise expectations that he will indeed turn out to be an absolute gem once he does come over after he turns 18.
Over the weekend, the youngster scored a lovely goal to give his team the lead in the second leg of the Ecuadorian Serie A final — the Ecuadorian top division play two half-seasons and the top-placed teams of the two mini-leagues play a two-legged final to determine the ultimate champions. Kendry’s team, Independiente del Valle won the first stage, LDU Quito won the second. The first leg of their final finished 0-0, but Kendry opened the scoring in the 16th minute of the second with an excellent shot, low and hard into the bottom corner from 20 yards out.
Unfortunately, Independiente’s lead was short-lived as Quito were back level three minutes later. Neither team could find a winner from then on, so off to penalties they went, where Quito hit all of theirs and Independiente mssed all of theirs (Kendry was subbed off in the 74th minute). So that’s a bit unfortunate for the youngster.
Kendry finishes the 2023 season with 29 senior appearances, including one in all 15 matches (7 starts) of the second stage, and starting both legs of the final as well. not bad for a 16-year-old!
Deployed most often in the center of (attacking) midfield, the youngster chipped in with five goals including the final game, and often impressed with his quality of play.
He’s now reportedly set to come over and spend part of his winter break and offseason training with Chelsea, before going back to Independiente for the start of the 2024 season in late February.