New Chelsea boss Graham Potter impressed by Armando Broja - Alan Nixon
Chelsea striker Armando Broja “has made a big impression” on Graham Potter which is likely to end hopes of clubs who want him, Alan Nixon reports.
West Ham and Everton both spent large parts of the summer chasing the 21-year-old, while Southampton were interested in taking him back after a solid loan spell, and the likes of Napoli were tracking him from outside the Premier League.
Thomas Tuchel wanted to keep him and so it eventually settled with the close of the transfer window, but with the German already sacked and Brighton boss Potter brought in there was scope for yet another change in direction, but not so according to Sun reporter Nixon on Patreon.
Despite senior striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang arriving from Barcelona late in the window, Broja is reportedly closing in on some starts thanks to how much he has impressed his new manager.
Nixon writes: “Potter is never scared about backing his judgement and insiders reveal he is raving about Broja’s potential and ability to fit into his system.
“And that will also mean the queue of clubs keen on taking Broja either on loan or a sale in the window will be left disappointed.”
The Albania international has so far made six substitute appearances this season in the Premier League and Champions League.
With Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner both out of the picture it seemed like the ideal opportunity to integrate Broja into the Chelsea first-team so it was surprising how close he came to leaving in the summer.
Tuchel preferred to use a false-nine in the early weeks of the season, bafflingly playing Raheem Sterling through the middle with Kai Havertz wide at times in an apparent reversal of where they are better suited.
While the German had been against seeing the young front man leave, he apparently wasn’t ready to trust him fully.
That may have been a ploy to make clear how much he wanted his former Dortmund man Aubameyang brought in but is also likely to have contributed to his exit, as his reluctance to turn to youth saw him give zero minutes to teenagers last season.
Potter is very much the new regime’s man, and their heavy spend on under-21s during the transfer window shows they want to invest in youth, so it is no surprise that it looks like Broja will be a beneficiary of his arrival.
The youngster isn’t yet the finished article but it will be difficult for him to get there without a more sustained run in the team so it will come as some relief to fans at Stamford Bridge that appears to be on the horizon.
In other Chelsea news, Billy Gilmour has very much missed out as he only moved to Brighton because of Potter.