Chelsea and Liverpool are becoming more serious about their plots to capture PSV youngster, Zakaria Bakkali.
This is according to Daily Star, claim that Chelsea are actually leading in the race for the winger who has been tagged as ‘the New Eden Hazard’. The 18 year old Belgian International has been a target for the Blues over the past couple of months and while they evidently have got some benefit from Hazard since his move to Stamford Bridge 2 years ago, they are now eager to add more attacking quality to their ranks in the shape of the similarly gifted Bakkali.
Arsene Wenger will remember, without any glee, how he was priced out of Hazard by Chelsea, having initially identified the 21 year old from Lille, even before signing Gervinho his teammate then.
Chelsea apparently offered to pay him more, splashing as much as £32m for him then – a fee which was not within our spending reach at the time. Though indifferent in his first season, Hazard has established himself as one of the most influential players in the Chelsea teams over the past 12 months, especially in the title-challenging squad this season.
His ability to drift past players is not shared by many, though his goal statistics are still below par for one aspiring to be ranked next to Messi and Ronaldo. Having being a victim to the Belgian’s quick feet slalom in the defeat at Champions League this season, Wenger will be looking to get one back over Chelsea for taking him away from his grasp – and the opportunity to sign Bakkali could be his revenge.
Though not selected as part of Belgium’s 23 to the World Cup in Brasil, Bakkali has already made his mark in the International stage despite being just a teenager. Starting off at the youth grade at Standard Liege where he gained prominence, he made the move to a more renowned League to hone his skills like most Belgian players have done over the years. Upon gaining promotion to the first team at PSV, he didn’t waste any time in getting the world to pay attention to him, being now most famous as the youngest player ever to score an Eredivisie hat-trick at just aged 17. He is yet to feature this season in a League game, perhaps giving to leaf to the probability of one of the bidding clubs bringing him to England.
The hallmark of Arsene Wenger’s reign, besides the stability which he has overseen at Arsenal over the past eighteen years, has been his irrevocable faith in the future. While he has plans to raise a core from within the club, we must not fail to also look to bring in the best of talents from around the world.
Quick, energetic players of Bakkali’s quality are good complements for the likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain and other lads such as Benik Afobe who are on loan. The dutch League been a good ground for developing young talents, we can trust that bakkali has gained formation in the footballing philosophy which we have at the Emirates.
We’ve seen Chelsea take a host of young promising players like Kevin de Bruyne, Oriol Romeu and Marko van Ginkel but fail to make any use of them after multiple loan spells. They do not exactly have an enviable track record of giving the youths a chance and it will be sorry to see such precious talent lay wasting on the bench or on some mindless loan to Vitesse Arnhem, when he could get real action on a regular basis.
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