In the waning hours of the summer transfer window, as we scrambled around for a midfield signing, Chelsea reportedly submitted a €50m bid to Ajax Amsterdam for defensive midfielder Edson Álvarez. It was a move that smelled badly of desperation — despite claims to the contrary later, that it wasn’t made on a “passing whim”. Not unexpectedly, it was also a move that had no real hope of succeeding.
Ajax weren’t about to let a key player go in the final hours of the window and after their own window had already closed, regardless of how much we were willing to spend or how much Álvarez himself was wanting to come — which he was, but only to a certain point, as he explained to ESPN in a recent interview.
“There was interest from Chelsea. Nobody expected that they would make another offer. It was a difficult situation. Ajax really couldn’t do anything. They didn’t have a player in my position.
“Of course I fought as far as I could. I didn’t want to do that too much. Because I know the responsibility I have within the club.”
The World Cup-bound Mexico international, who recently celebrated his 25th birthday, has featured in every game this season that he’s been eligible for, further underlining that responsibility. It’s to his credit that he didn’t go all the way in trying to force the Chelsea move, despite his personal disappointment. Perhaps he will be rewarded for it in a future transfer window?
“I am very disappointed, but I am convinced that sooner or later a big club will come for me.”
-Edson Álvarez; source: ESPN via Evening Standard
Chelsea have remained linked with Álvarez, and depending on how things evolve with the likes of N’Golo Kanté or Jorginho or the man we ended up signing in his stead, and who has yet to even play a single minute for whatever reason, Denis Zakaria, perhaps we might test the waters again in January. And maybe this time we’ll even do it a bit earlier than with six hours left in the window.