Ornstein: Chelsea have £8.5m deal agreed for left back ready to play for sister club

We reported earlier today that Atlanta left back Caleb Wiley, who had been linked to Chelsea for a few days, would be a “perfect fit” for the club’s current model, and just hours later it seems a deal is wrapped up.

David Ornstein has just Tweeted that that Blues have “reached an agreement” with Atlanta United for the 19 year old, who will be loaned directly to out affiliate club Strasbourg next season to develop with first team minutes.

Ornstein notes that the “good relations” between Chelsea and Atlanta helped smooth things along. It’s an £8.5m fee, and a monster 7 year contract.

Wiley is a full USA international and a talented player who already looks ready to play in Ligue 1, and we’re really excited to see how he gets on there. Like many players developed in the states, he looks to have some exceptional qualities, but probably lacks a bit of polish. That will only come from playing against top players, and the move to Europe should mean he comes on leaps and bounds in the next 12 months.

It still leaves question marks about the left back spot in the first team – both Marc Cucurella and Ben Chilwell have been linked with departures in recent weeks, and certainly having a replacement in the pipeline makes that more likely.

Where Wiley fits in

Wiley is a typical Strasbourg signing – good enough to play for them right away, but with the potential to be so good he one day comes to Chelsea.

The one question mark is why he’s been signed as a Chelsea player and then loaned there, rather than moving directly to the French club. This will take up another precious foreign loan slot, and at this rate those are going to be a serious bottleneck for developing a lot of players this year.

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