This one ticks a lot of boxes.
Serie A? Check.
Heady comparison? Check
There are so many cliches that could be attached to this rumor, that it’s ridiculously easy to dismiss it outright. On the other hand, the cliches are being thrown around for a reason, and young Franck Kessié does tick a lot of important boxes: power, pace, size, technique, stamina — box-to-box-to-box-to-box-to-box.
Kessié, who turned 20 years old just ten days ago, has burst onto the Serie A scene this season by scoring four goals in the first three matches of the season, though it’s the other aspects of his play that have really helped Atalanta to a surprise 6th position in the table at the winter break. The Ivorian international (now on 10 caps, having made his debut at 17 — which does mean he’ll be at the ACN in January) spent last season on loan at Cesena in the Serie B, where he was converted from a ball-playing center back to a match-dominating midfielder. Calling him the next Yaya Touré is trite and silly, but it’s also what IBWM’s scouting report concluded last year. He could very well be the one next Yaya Touré who actually ends up becoming the next Yaya Touré, or at least something close to him.
And if that were to be the case, €25m would be an absolute bargain. That’s how much Chelsea have bid, according to France Football.
Chelsea are hardly the first team to be seriously linked with Kessié. Arsenal are around, as are many of the usual suspects like Manchester City and Juventus. Second tier stepping stones like Southampton, Monaco, and Schalke were linked last summer. And then there’s Manchester United, and the power of the Mourinho phone call. Not many have stared the Mourinho Phone Call in the face and lived to tell the tale, right N’Golo?
Manchester United manager José Mourinho reportedly spoke to Franck Kessié on the phone in November about a move https://t.co/8V1xxauIxL— Get French Football (@GFFN) December 27, 2016
Still, if the reports are true, it would appear that Chelsea have made first move of all the big boys. And so the saga begins...