Chelsea have completed the signing of centre-back Xavier Mbuyamba – who has been dubbed the 'new Virgil van Dijk.
The 18-year-old Dutchman has put pen to paper on a three year deal at Stamford Bridge, and becomes Frank Lampard's third signing of the summer after Hakim Ziyech from Ajax and Timo Werner from RB Leipzig.
Mbuyamba started his career with MVV Masstricht before joining Barcelona's La Masia academy in 2019. After a year in Spain the towering 6'5" centre-back cancelled his contract at the Camp Nou to join Chelsea.
The teenager bypassed the usual route to the top in Holland, in which a talented young player catches the eye of a team like PSV or Ajax.
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Instead Mbuyamba worked his way through the ranks in the second division with Masstricht, and never earned a call-up to represent his nation as a schoolboy.
"It is strange that they [Ajax, PSV] never came, but the same applies to the KNVB," the 18-year-old Dutchmand told RTL. "I was called up for the first time [to the Under-19s squad] in November 2019. The staff immediately said that they thought it strange that I had never been noticed before."
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