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Estevao Willian transfer – have Chelsea learnt nothing?

Chelsea are in talks to sign 17-year-old Brazilian winger Estevao Willian from Palmeiras. Per The Athletic, the Blues are confident of landing their target, who will join the club following his 18th birthday in April 2025.

The Brazilian Serie A side will accept an initial fixed amount of around €30 million plus a variable figure of performance-based add-ons. 

The highly touted youngster, nicknamed Messinho in his native Brazil, broke through the Palmeiras ranks alongside Endrick, and both have been tipped to achieve great things in the sport.

However, Chelsea’s move for Estevao has sparked deserved criticism – have Chelsea learnt nothing from their recent mistakes in the transfer market?

Chelsea’s recent struggles under Todd Boehly and the Clearlake Consortium are well documented. 

Following the arrival of the American consortium, the Blues finished in 12th place in the Premier League last season after the new owners upheaved everything, signed a host of players and overpopulated their dressing room.

Chelsea went into the market without tact and paid for it on the field as the team struggled to find any cohesion. 

Acting sporting director Todd Boehly conceded his mistake, stepped down and handed the keys to Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley.

The pair went on a youngster splurge, signing every under-21 player they could get their paws on.

Consequently, the club continued its free fall from grace after selling established stars and replacing them with a wave of young talent. 

These youngsters are not ready to compete for titles, yet Chelsea have spent so much money stockpiling them while the first team lacks experience and cohesion.

With a potential seventh-place finish looming, fans question the logic behind pursuing Estevao. A 17-year-old with limited senior experience is not the solution to Chelsea’s immediate problems. 

Chelsea have conceded 59 league goals this season and need to shore up their defence in the market, especially with Thiago Silva leaving

The Blues also need a new goalkeeper between the sticks and a more experienced striker to provide competition for Nicolas Jackson.

These are more pressing problems that the club must sort out before bringing another South American wonderkid who barely moves the needle.

The hefty price tag is also concerning – €55 million for a player who won’t be ready to contribute for years.

To make matters worse, Chelsea already have a stellar crop of young right-sided wingers. There is more than enough talent on that side of the pitch for now and in the future.

Cole Palmer arrived from Manchester City this summer and has taken the PL by storm with 21 goals and nine assists in 31 appearances.

After struggling to get to grips with the demands of the PL, Noni Madueke has begun to morph into a complete player. Madueke is showing his talents more consistently after nine successive starts.

Angelo Gabriel has excelled on loan at sister club Strasbourg, earning a nomination for Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year. 

Meanwhile, Omari Hutchinson has helped Ipswich Town to earn promotion to the PL with ten goals and five assists in 44 Championship appearances.

Chelsea also shelled £17.27m to sign Ecuadorian talent Kendry Paez. The 17-year-old has been sensational for Independiente Del Valle, with two goals and three assists in his last five games.

Chelsea do not need another right-sided attacker on their books. Adding another is overkill, especially with potential Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR) breaches looming. 

Spending such a large sum on another young right-winger is unnecessarily extravagant.

Chelsea have glaring deficiencies on the left flank, with Mykhailo Mudryk still struggling to adapt 15 months since joining the club and Raheem Sterling failing to live up to his reputation.

The club needs to focus on signing a high-calibre left winger who can help fight for titles. The sporting directors are too concerned with talent acquisition but should focus more on squad building.

This Estevao transfer echoes the situations of Andrey Santos, Angelo, and Deivid Washington. 

Chelsea signed these young Brazilians from Serie A in recent years, but they have all seen limited first-team opportunities, with the former two spending the season on loan spells. 

Washington has made sporadic first-team appearances for the club, featuring more with the youth team. Estevao faces a similar fate, and Chelsea fans are right to be concerned. 

The club needs a clear direction and a strategy that prioritises winning now. Investing in youth has its advantages, but this approach seems scattergun and lacks a focus on immediate improvement.  

Estevao might be a talented prospect, but Chelsea must prioritise proven talent this summer to recapture their former glory.

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