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Chelsea approach Arsenal youngster Edwards to boost flailing academy teams

08:28 BST 10/04/2022
Khayon Edwards
The Blues have been struggling at youth level but have plans to change it for next season and want to poach a rival's striker

Chelsea have made contact with Arsenal Under-18s' star striker Khayon Edwards over a transfer in the summer. 

Currently, the Blues are unable to sign players due to the sanctions on Roman Abramovich and a special government licence that allows them to continue to operate. 

However, with the Gunners still fighting to tie down their star youngster, the Blues are waiting to pounce upon a change of ownership soon. 

What's all the fuss about Edwards?

The 18-year-old has been leading the line for the Hale End outfit under head coach Dan Micciche. 

He has 17 goals and six assists in 22 games this season at all levels, impressively getting a goal every game in the U18s Premier League. 

With the same agent as Bukayo Saka and Folarin Balogun, the Gunners are fighting hard to get Edwards to sign his first professional deal with them. 

They have also seen interest rising from across the Premier League with Brighton, Southampton and Leeds among those in the mix. 

There are also a number of German clubs watching the teenager closely and considering making a move.

Those close to the player say that he grew up supporting the current European champions, but also note that he will make the best decision for his continued development. 

Even though Edwards can leave on a free transfer in the summer, compensation will be due to Arsenal for their development costs. 

Do Chelsea need him?

The Blues are stacked with young strikers at the moment, with Southampton loanee Armando Broja pushing for a recall and Charlton Athletic wonderkid Mason Burstow recently signed up and loaned back to the Addicks in January. 

That won't be enough for the Blues, who want to maintain their presence with strong loanees and by winning trophies across all age levels in their academy. 

Unfortunately, this season represents a major dip for Chelsea as they have previously become accustomed to winning the bigger trophies through their Cobham Training base. 

Their Under-23s are currently in the relegation zone in Premier League 2, while they have suffered shock exits in both the FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League to Nottingham Forest and Genk. 

To get back on top, they are targeting signing the best young players from inside the United Kingdom, with the recent Brexit vote having stopped English academies from bringing in most overseas talents. 

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