Chelsea Football Club has reached an agreement in principle to sign 15-year-old midfielder Kendry Paez. The Ecuadorian wonderkid was being tracked by several other clubs, including Manchester United, Manchester City, and Bayer Leverkusen. Real Madrid was also previously linked to the player. Paez is believed to be one of the best young talents in South America and will be able to join the Blues when he turns 18. The midfielder scored on his first-team debut for Independiente del Valle earlier this season, having been integrated into the senior squad ahead of the 2022-23 campaign. He has already impressed at international level for Ecuador U17s and will cost Chelsea £20m, according to Sky Sports.
Paez is set to become the latest teenager to be snapped up by the west London club, following Andrey Santos and Malo Gusto, who were recruited in January. The Blues have already spent over £600m on new players since co-owner Todd Boehly replaced Roman Abramovich in the summer.
Chelsea’s head coach Graham Potter is under immense pressure with the side 11th in the Premier League table and having won just three top-flight games in 2023. However, defender Reece James believes that Chelsea can become “one of the best teams in the world” once their new stars have settled in. “I don’t think there’s a trophy we can’t win,” the right-back said in February. “When that happens I don’t know, but with the team we’re building and what the club is turning into… With all the young players, once we have played together for a longer period of time I think we’re going to be one of the best teams in the world.”
It remains to be seen how Paez will fit into Chelsea’s plans, but his talent and potential are undeniable. The Blues will hope that he can develop into a key player for the club in the years to come.