Chelsea have completed a £35m deal to sign Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile; the 21-year-old has signed a seven-and-a-half-year contract with the Premier League side; Badiashile made 135 appearances for Monaco and has been capped twice by France
Friday 6 January 2023 06:13, UK
Chelsea have completed the signing of Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile in a £35m deal on a seven-and-a-half-year contract.
Sky Sports News reported in late December the west London club were in advanced talks over a deal for the 21-year-old France international and the player completed his switch to Stamford Bridge on Thursday.
Badiashile is considered one of the best young left-footed centre-backs in Europe and this has been a profile of player Chelsea have wanted since the summer.
"I'm very happy to be here at Chelsea. I'm so excited to start playing for this club," Badiashile said.
"I can't wait to see the fans and start playing in the best league in the world."
Badiashile completed his medical on Monday and becomes Chelsea's second signing of the January transfer window, following the arrival of David Datro Fofana from Molde. The Blues also gave a medical to 18-year-old Vasco da Gama midfielder Andrey Santos on Saturday.
Since Todd Boehly took control of Chelsea in May 2022, the club have pursued a strategy of signing talented young players. Wesley Fofana (21), Carney Chukwuemeka (19), Cesare Casadei (19), Fofana (20) and Gabriel Slonina (18) have all joined the club.
In a joint statement, chairman 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."
After making his Monaco debut at the age of 17 in 2018, Badiashile went on to make 135 appearances for his boyhood club. The 6ft 4in defender made his full international debut for France in September 2022, but did not make Didier Deschamps' squad for the World Cup in Qatar.
Chelsea have fallen to 10th in the Premier League after managing just one win in seven games either side of the World Cup, but could move up to seventh with a win over reigning champions Manchester City on Thursday night, live on Sky Sports.
Badiashile's first opportunity to play could come on Sunday in the FA Cup, when Chelsea take on the same opposition in Manchester, while his Premier League debut could come in a west London derby at Fulham on January 12, also live on Sky Sports.
French Football expert Jonathan Johnson:
"He's a very talented player. Someone who I fully expect to develop into a top defender in the future. I wouldn't say he's as 'Premier League ready' as some of the players we've seen come from France to Premier League sides in the past.
"I don't think he's at the level of a (William) Saliba or (Wesley) Fofana just yet. I'd liken him more to a polished version of Kurt Zouma, when Zouma arrived in the Premier League. He will need time to develop, but he has the attributes to succeed.
"His build lends itself to being good in the air, he's comfortable with the ball at his feet and reads the ball really well. He's somebody who I do think would be tailor-made for the Premier League."
Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher:
"Chelsea may be the busiest team in this January transfer window - because every time I pick up a paper I see they're signing someone!
"It feels like they're going for every player in the world! It seems to take me back to when Roman Abramovich first came in and I thought with him leaving the club, it might be the end of that. But it doesn't seem to be the case, certainly with the new regime at Chelsea.
"It looks like they're trying to throw their money around to try and get in the best players to the club, which is what Chelsea are used to in the last 10 to 15 years. I thought it may stop a little, it looks like Todd Boehly is scouting the air for players and I expect them to be busy."
Who will be on the move this winter? The January transfer window opened on Sunday January 1, 2023 and closes at 11pm on Tuesday January 31, 2023.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.