Official: Chelsea announce signing of highly-rated French all-around defender

Chelsea have finalised a deal with Nantes for versatile defender Pierre-Emmanuel Ekwah Elimby who will wear the No.4 shirt next campaign.

The 16-year-old star is highly-rated and reportedly set Chelsea back around £1.8m. Ekwah Elimby will slot into the Blues U18s for 2018/19 and will look to progress to the reserve team in the future.

France U16 international, who has racked up 13 matches for the U16s, has signed a two-year deal. He plays as a centre-back and can operate in midfield and will join a team who won the quadruple previous season.

Managed by Jody Morris, the Blues won the U18 Premier League southern title, U18 national final, U18 Premier League Cup and FA Youth Cup in 2017/18.

Ekwah Elimby has a long voyage to the Chelsea first-team but can take hope from Denmark international Andreas Christensen’s rise from the youth team to the senior squad.

He has a stiff rivalry from the likes of Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta, but has some brilliant mentors to learn from in the coming years.