Matt Miazga to join Chelsea FC
The highly rated 20 year old New York Red Bulls and USMNT center back Matt Miazga is already receiving his medical evaluation at Chelsea FC, according to an ESPN source.
For a reported transfer fee of $5 million (a good gain for the Red Bulls), Matt Miazga will be one of the MLS’s more expensive sales, and one of their highest potential players to leave the league at a young age to seek further opportunities abroad.
The struggling Chelsea are hoping to strengthen themselves at the back and add depth to their team – Gary Cahill is rumored to want to leave the team, John Terry is 35 years old and already needs some rest, and Kurt Zouma has been good for his age but is still in the development process. Matt Miazga will allow for rotation of the squad, be a solid substitute to strengthen the defense in the case of protecting a marginal lead (which has been very common with Chelsea last season and recently), and will be one of the newest young prospects in the Premier League that US Mens National Team fans will be keeping a close eye on.
Miazga signed a homegrown player contract with the Red Bulls at the age of 17, one that would expire in a years time. He is widely viewed by American soccer followers as the key to the National Team’s future defensive strength, and still has massive potential for growth.
From an MLS perspective, the move is both a testament to the growing strength of the American youth system and the league’s growing competitiveness, but also can be seen as a negative endorsement for the MLS, letting go of its young superstar that can help the league grow in popularity and quality of play.
In England, Miazga will get the opportunity to develop in to a great player. Playing alongside some of the best defenders in the world against some of the best attackers in the world (even in training) will, of course, help a player improve. However, His potential for development abroad will by heavily linked to the amount of first team action he gets at Chelsea.
Chelsea’s aptitude for loaning out its young or non-essential players could raise the question of how Chelsea plans on using Miazga. Chelsea have stated that they do not intend to loan out the player, but once he is at Chelsea their decision can, of course, change. A loan could either be good or bad for his development, depending on who he gets loaned to, how much playing time he gets at that club, and how much he would get at Chelsea if he isn’t loaned.
Miazga is cap-tied with the US, but also owns a Polish passport and doesn’t need a work permit to play in England (as England and Poland are part of the EU). Some questioned whether Miazga would join the Polish national team instead of the US, but his recent appearances for the US at the 2015 U20 World Cup in Chile and in World Cup qualifying for the first team against St. Vincent and the Grenadines has tied him to play with the US.
The future of this young player is highly dependent on the amount of playing time he gets at Chelsea and whether some of the older defenders take him under their wing. Miasma is definitely one to watch in the footballing world, especially for US and Chelsea fans.
If you would like to see some defensive highlights from Matt Miazga (ironically by a channel called Polish Scouting), click here.
Update – January 30, 2016: It’s official, Matt Miazga is now a Chelsea FC player.