Chelsea have completed the €38million signing of Benoit Badiashile from Monaco. The Blues invested over £150m on strengthening their defence in the summer but, for a variety of reasons, Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana have struggled to make a positive impact.
Injury has restricted Fofana, who cost an eye- watering £70m, to just four appearances, while the experienced Koulibally has struggled to adjust to the rigours of Premier League football. Cucurella, meanwhile, has had the benefit of having spent a season with new Chelsea manager Graham Potter at Brighton, but the Spaniard has failed to justify his £63m price tag and has struggled to convince in the absence of Ben Chilwell who has endured another injury interrupted campaign.
Chelsea lost Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger in the summer and although veteran Thiago Silva has continued to excel, both Potter and his predecessor, Thomas Tuchel, have been hampered by an inability to field a settled defence. Badiashile is the latest highly-rated centre-half to roll off France’s production line and is expected to immediately challenge for a first team place at Stamford Bridge and could form a long-term partnership with his compatriot, Fofana, once he returns to full fitness. Speaking for the first time as a Chelsea player, the 21-year-old said:
‘I’m very happy to be here at Chelsea. I’m so excited to start playing for this club. I can’t wait to see the fans and start playing in the best league in the world. ‘I would like to thank all the members of the Club, the educators, the coaches and all my partners who have given me so much since I arrived at the club almost 7 years ago, to become the player and the man I am today.
‘I am not forgetting the fans, for their affection and support. AS Monaco has allowed me to realise many of my dreams, I will always be grateful and will always keep Les Rouge et Blanc in my heart
Chelsea Chairman Todd Boehly and co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali said:
‘We’re delighted to welcome Benoit to Chelsea. ‘He’s an excellent young player who has quickly established a strong reputation for himself and has a huge amount of experience for his young age. ‘We are sure he will form an important part of our team in the years ahead.’