Chelsea’s push for the best and brightest young talent continues as we’re apparently closing in on a deal for 15-year-old Kendry Paez, who currently plays for Independiente del Valle(‘s youth team).
The Ecuador U17 international was apparently held back from playing for their U20 team at the recently concluded CONMEBOL U20 Championship (that Andrey Santos’s Brazil won), with a view towards first-team integration and action — he has made the bench in each of their first two games so far on the young season.
Paez is classified as a attacking, playmaking midfielder at the moment, but he’s also just 15, so that position’s not exactly set in stone. And yes, he has been likened to Messi already as well, though he’s already around 175cm (5’8”) — i.e. taller than Lio.
In any case, Paez is said to be highly coveted, with “up to a dozen” teams in the Premier League alone chasing his signature. But it sounds like we might have won this contest, which is nice. Good to know we still can win something these days... (Any transfer would of course have to wait to go through until he’s actually 18, in 2025. But teams can loophole around that by agreeing the deal now, which seems to be becoming a bit of a trend.)
EXCL: Chelsea are closing in on verbal agreement with Independiente del Valle to sign Ecuadorian gem Kendry Paez — deal close to be completed. #CFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) February 23, 2023
Midfielder born in 2007, one of the best talents in South America, Kendry will be able to join Chelsea when he will turn 18. pic.twitter.com/mM6vJORa8n