Valentino Livramento was named Chelsea Academy Player of the Year last season, and these days, that certainly should be considered a great endorsement of quality. Judging by the reported interest in the 18-year-old, teams around England and Europe would seem to agree.
That interest is helped by Livramento’s contract situation, as he enters the final year of his first professional deal, which he signed on the day he turned 17 in 2019. (These deals are limited by rule to a maximum of three years.)
While Chelsea are obviously hoping to extend him (and then probably send him on loan), he wouldn’t be the first to forgo that route in favor of a more permanent move somewhere else. And after being linked with the likes of AC Milan and Aston Villa, he’s now attracting interest from the likes of RB Leipzig, Southampton, and Brighton & Hove Albion as well, as per Goal.
Livramento certainly looks like a player with great promise, marrying great physical attributes (and, at over 6-foot tall with a frame to match, not just by youth football standards) with speed, agility, and of course plenty of technical quality. Whether he’s ready for the Chelsea first-team is another question entirely, though, as usual, that is the crux of the matter.
The Academy produces more talent than the first-team could ever reasonably use, so inevitably we are still going to see players leave — even as we finally (hopefully) stop wasting money on squad players in the transfer market. Could Livramento play a role as a backup to Reece James and César Azpilicueta? Certainly. Would that be the best role for him and his development? Maybe. Would there be a role for him in the future? Probably. But many key decisions have to be made before then.
The first of those will have to happen soon. Presumably, Livramento will be there for the start of preseason next week (July 5, reportedly) since he had been training with the first-team towards the end of last season already (being named to two matchday squads, even). Hopefully a new contract will follow soon after, and then we won’t have to worry about the rumors for a while.
In somewhat related news, one youngster who is definitely leaving Chelsea is Charlie Wiggett, with the 18-year-old defender confirming his departure on Twitter. He made 36 appearances for Chelsea at the youth levels, and is most likely heading to Newcastle United.