Francis Benali gives his verdict on the late Chelsea bid for Romeo Lavia
Southampton legend Francis Benali was not surprised that Chelsea made a late bid for Romeo Lavia. The Blues saw a £50 million bid for the midfielder refuted by the Saints earlier this month’s deadline day.
Lavia joined Southampton earlier this summer and impressed everyone. The midfielder was also on the scoresheet against the Blues during their match last month, with his side winning 2-1.
Having played five games in August, the Blues were convinced he was good enough to play for them and made a late bid. Now, while speaking at the 53rd Southampton International Boat Show (h/t Hampshire Live), Benali gave his thoughts.
Never a dull moment at Chelsea. It was interesting that a late bid came in for Romeo Lavia, however, from what I’ve seen from him and the other young players, it doesn’t surprise me that someone like Chelsea has expressed interest.
The Blues were forced in the market to look for a defensive midfielder with N’Golo Kante getting injured. Denis Zakaria was signed on loan from Juventus in the final hours of the deadline day.
Conor Gallagher had been trusted to start games for the west London club by former manager Thomas Tuchel. However, that has not gone according to plan as the midfielder has struggled in the middle of the park for Chelsea.
With Kante and Jorginho entering the final year of their contracts, a long-term solution is needed. Lavia fits such a bill perfectly. But there is one problem regarding the 18-year-old.
Lavia does not have much playing experience under his belt. Despite a good start to the season, the player has to maintain a consistent run of performances throughout the season. It will be wise for Chelsea to see how the midfielder fares this season before perhaps having another go at securing his services.
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If he impresses, then the Blues will likely have no problem paying a big amount for him, considering the huge bid they made on deadline day. And if the player cannot meet the expected expectations, then the west London club would have dodged a bullet.