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Kendry Páez wins multiple end-of-season awards in Ecuadorian top flight


Chelsea v Newcastle United - Carabao Cup Quarter Final Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

We have to wait another year and a half before Kendry Páez can officially join Chelsea, but the 16-year-old is making great use of that time, continuing his development and upwards trajectory with Independiente del Valle in the Ecuadorian top flight, the Liga Pro.

The 2023 Liga Pro season ended in December with Independiente losing to LDU Quito in the grand finale, but Páez, who scored in the second leg of that final, did collect several individual awards, which were announced earlier this week.

The most notable recognition were for Young Player of the Year as well as Attacking Midfielder of the Year, but Páez also made the Team of the Year, and had earned a nomination for Goal of the Year, Move of the Year, and Player of the Year as well!

Not a bad haul!

Preparations for the new season are now underway for Independiente, though Kendry’s also got one eye on hitting the ground running at Chelsea in 2025 as well, as his agent Manuel Sierra detailed in an interview this week.

“If he learns to live off of professionalism, he will be very close to being awarded the Golden Ball in the coming years. I think he could be one of the greats in the world. He has everything. He has already been in Chelsea and has been visiting those who are going to be his teammates. He has been with Mauricio (Pochettino), with all the people on the board.”

“He is a boy who is super prepared for success. If everything goes well, if he has a cool head and takes care of himself, because it is very difficult at 16 years old, imagine everything that is coming to him; he has all the temptations and requests in the world; it can be very big.

“Right now, with what has been talked about, Mauricio (Pochettino) has given him a lot of affection as a father, as a close friend, because he is very like that in the locker room with all his players. He is a phenomenon when it comes to carry out that locker room management and he has been very close. He has told him that he has to take care of himself, giving him advice as a father and as a professional so that he can reach 100% at Chelsea in a year and a half.

“Kendry is training in English, he is doing video analysis, he is working on the topic of nutrition... We are already trying to give him at least an introduction, because in the end he is a child, he is 16 years old, he is growing and a year and a half passes very quickly. But it is also true that it seems very eternal until it arrives. So you have to take advantage of it. The people of Chelsea are in contact with Independiente del Valle, with us, we with Independiente and with Chelsea. We are very coordinated so that it arrives fully prepared.”

-Manuel Sierra, source: Olé via Google Translate

Sounds like a plan!

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