Chelsea may have took their spending under Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital to over £1billion, but a recent survey indicates they may regret missing out on Club Brugge star Antonio Nusa. The Blues were completely overhauled their squad in the space of 12 months with 26 permanent signings made.
A 27th signing was wanted heading into deadline day this summer as Boehly targeted a late move for Nusa. But the teenager didn’t want to make the move at this stage of his career, opting to remain in Belgium.
He said: “I already knew that it wasn’t going to happen, but then the money came on the table. Then it’s seen in a slightly different way. We had to have another conversation when the money arrived, but we were on the same page, so there was no problem there. I knew what to do anyway, so it was fine.”
Nusa burst onto the scene with Club Brugge last year, becoming the second-youngest player ever to score in the Champions League at the age of 17 years and 149 days. And the attacker has already earned a call up to the senior setup with Norway, scoring on his international debut in July against Jordan.
Nusa may still be relatively unknown to many Chelsea fans due to the lack of availability to watch him in action. But Boehly clearly saw something special in the winger and a new piece of data published by CIES Football Observatory backs that up.
The survey looks at the best young dribblers in world football and Nusa comes out on top by some margin. No player under the age of 23 is said to average more dribbles per 90 minutes than Nusa, who achieves nearly 11 dribbles a match.
In comparison, Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli doesn’t even average half that amount on the same list. Nusa’s ‘index’ score is off the charts compared to others as well – a combination of successful dribbles as well as the level of opponents faced.
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Chelsea aren’t exactly short of options out wide though with Raheem Sterling, Mykyahlo Mudryk, Noni Madueke and Cole Palmer currently fighting for starting spots. All four players moved to Stamford Bridge under the club’s new ownership with the former two struggling to live up to their costly price tags.
Had Chelsea been patient and saved their money then there may have been room for Nusa at Stamford Bridge. But the Norwegian attacker undoubtedly saw a lack of opportunities to play regular minutes at Chelsea as the main downside to a move.
If Nusa continues on his current trajectory then £25m may end up presenting a bargain price that Chelsea ultimately missed out on.
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