Armando Broja could become the latest Cobham prospect to make his Chelsea exit. West Ham are reportedly interested in a £30 million move for the Albanian star and Chelsea fans share mixed feelings with this potential deal. The fact is that this would be the second Cobham striker the Blues sell in the space of one year, with Tammy Abraham being the first.
The question is whether Chelsea keep, sell or loan their young protege. At the age of 20, Broja will be looking to find himself a starting role in a squad. He spent his loan move to Southampton making a name for himself in big games and becoming a problematic forward that defenders had a tough time playing against. With that being said, Thomas Tuchel will need to see and make a judgement for himself.
According to CBS Sports journalist, Tuchel is still keen on assessing Armando Broja in pre-season and does not want a permanent sale until he’s done so. It’ll be an interesting return for the player, but what will be the correct course of action for Chelsea to take?
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In an ideal world, Armando Broja would be an ideal back up to Kai Havertz. Considering the imminent departure of Romelu Lukaku, the Blues will need to have another forward in reserve. Timo Werner has proven to be out of favour with the Chelsea boss following the lack of game time acquired last season, so who will be Chelsea’s go to man behind Havertz? The idea of playing Christian Pulisic in a false nine position for another season does not have quite the appeal.
Keeping Broja would give Thomas Tuchel another option off the bench. The Premier League has now approved having five substitutes in a game, meaning more chances will be available for each player. Broja is not yet the 30 goal a season striker that Chelsea fans have been looking for, but he has all the ingredients to become just that.
A Tuchel tweak could turn him into a formidable forward. Pre-season will be crucial for the Albania international to make his mark in the Chelsea first team. If he lives up to the high expectations set, he could find himself in the favour of the German boss.
Let’s assume that Broja doesn’t quite work out well in pre-season, there’s no need to rush an exit plan. As much as he wants permanent first team football, the 20-year-old could still use a loan move to get what he wants. His time at Southampton last season did not go unnoticed. His debut year in the Premier League has set his future up to be bright. It comes as no surprise that West Ham are after a permanent deal.
There is no harm in a player making a couple of loan moves before making it into his parent club’s starting XI. Just look at Mason Mount and Reece James. Prime examples of two players who were good enough to swim in the deep end when Chelsea needed them to. The correct loan move could unlock the beast in Broja and the best part would be that the Blues could bring him back. There’s a safety net that comes with a loan move that Chelsea need to use to avoid losing out on yet another world class player from their academy.
But under new ownership and a completely different structure, the sell option might be the only one realistically available.
Todd Boehly has begun his reign and has already shaken the table. Former Chelsea chairman, Bruce Buck, has left his post and will now take on the role as a senior advisor. Marina Granovskaia is next to decide on her Chelsea future and is expected to leave the club completely. Together they built up their loan army formed from the talent of Cobham and Todd Boehly could easily tear it apart.
A positive of Chelsea’s large number of players on loan is that they can make money on these deals, and still have the reassurance of being able to recall their players. I wouldn’t say it is the healthiest model, but it is one that has worked for a decade.
Armando Broja being sold could be a sign that the Blues are ready to completely abandon their loan tactics. Last season the Blues sold Marc Guehi and Tino Livramento – both players of whom the Blues could use now as their backline continues to thin. Selling Broja could leave Chelsea in a worse position.
It would be the equivalent of selling Conor Gallagher. Both players having a promising season in the Premier League, only not to make it to their parent club’s first team. It wouldn’t make sense on the pitch, but financially Chelsea would have it all to gain.
Along with West Ham, the likes of Napoli, Atalanta and Everton are also keen on the 20-year-old. The Hammers lead the race with an incoming £30 million bid, but the race for Broja may not end there.