“The same level as Cole Palmer” – Chelsea source makes wild prediction about forgotten star

Our writer Simon Phillips has just put out an exclusive on his Substack with some really interesting information about Romeo Lavia.

The midfielder will be joining preseason for a fresh start after a debut campaign with Chelsea ruined by injury.

Despite that disappointment, there are massively high hopes for the Belgian at Stamford Bridge. Phillips quotes one seriously eyebrow raising claim:

“I’ve heard from a source inside the club that Joe Shields sees Lavia as the same level as Cole Palmer and he will have the same effect as he has,” Phillips wrote.

“They have really high expectations of Lavia and they are determined to get him back fit, keep him fit, and hand him a vital role in this team moving forward. There is a real belief that Lavia will thrive under Maresca.”

Another feather in the cap for Joe Shields?

That seems an outrageous claim now given what we saw Palmer produce, but it wouldn’t have sounded so crazy a year ago. Let’s not forget that we paid a bigger fee for Lavia than Palmer.

Shields knows them both well, and has apparently got seriously high hopes that his push for Lavia will end up being as much to his credit as his push for Palmer was last summer. Shields is described by Phillips as “the driving force” between the much criticised move to add the youngster to the squad last summer, despite Moises Caicedo having joined for more than £100m shortly before.

What’s even more promising is that Lavia appears to be the perfect player for Enzo Maresca to use in his possession heavy system, with Phillips writing that his “ability on the ball in deep areas is something that Maresca loves to have in his deep build possession-based football.”

That should line up Lavia for a major bounce back season – if we can get him fit and help him recover physically from effectively a full year on the sideline.

Tags Romeo Lavia
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