Chelsea Targets Young Midfielder Matheus Franca

To say that Chelsea’s spending over the last 18 months has been erratic would be a complete understatement. The bizarre, disjointed, and scattergun approach they have employed has resulted in hundreds of millions of pounds squandered following a disastrous period where Graham Potter dragged them into the unchartered waters of the bottom half of the table, and Frank Lampard compounded it with his incoherent and uninspiring managerial abilities and perennially uninspiring disposition. 


However, now that Chelsea has brought in Mauricio Pochettino, much to the despair of many rival Spurs fans, who are devastated to see a beloved manager join one of their bitter rivals, things are starting to look up for Chelsea. The two-time Champions League winners will be keen not to languish in the bottom half of the table again. The owner, Todd Boehly, will be keen to get Chelsea challenging again as they find themselves in the unusual predicament of being completely outside the favourites to win this season’s Premier League. 


Manchester City, of course, are the favourites again. However, Arsenal could make another inspired push given that they have signed some serious quality. The odds for the Premier League title are a lot closer than some people might suspect and, as Chelsea haven’t won the trophy since 2017, they will be keen to muscle in and try and spoil the party, but it is a tough ask.


Who is Matheus Franca?


Brazil is the home of football and a conveyer belt of elite talent⎯this has been the case since the days of the late great Pele, and the country has churned out hundreds of immensely talented players since. At just 19 years of age, Matheus Franca has a €200 million release clause in his contract. He is considered one of the finest players the Flamenco academy has ever produced, alongside Champions League winner and Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr. 


The attacking midfielder is a rangy and highly technical player with a fantastic first touch and an ability to read the game, which is already above most other players in the Brazilian league. His long-range shooting ability has been noted as one of his key strengths: his ability to pivot and manoeuvre out of tricky positions in the centre of the pitch when under pressure. 


Although he has signed a contract extension keeping him at his boyhood club until 2028, he is unlikely to stay that long, with many of Europe’s top clubs looking to pay colossal money for his services. Chelsea is currently the club that is apparently leading that race. How he could feature in Pochettino’s plans has been the subject of great speculation already, as many fans scratch their heads at how the Argentinian manager might unpack and deconstruct the current mess at Stamford Bridge.


Could He Propel Chelsea Back Into Contention?


There have been many significant changes at Chelsea recently, following the departure of their longstanding owner Roman Abramovich, and it has thrown the club into total disarray. Regardless of how Abramovich may have been perceived off the pitch, there is no doubt that he knew how to run a modern football club, having taken Chelsea from top six contentions to Champions League finals and multiple domestic league and cup triumphs. 


A player of Franca’s quality will, undoubtedly, significantly impact a club in the long run. However, given that he still needs to develop, it’s unlikely that even if he does come to Stamford Bridge, he will be able to hit the ground running and provide Chelsea with the sort of elite-level, match-winning standard they need now, not two years from now. If Pochettino steadies the ship and can get Chelsea back into the Champions League while slowly building Franca into the elite-level attacking midfielder that he looks set to become, then in two or three years, the reported £21 million fee could look like a real bargain. 


Although Pochettino has inherited a complete mess of a squad, with over 40 players, some financial relief due to the emergence of the Saudi league has entered the frame at the right time. The new Saudi league has taken some star names, such as Ngolo Kante, off their hands. Although admittedly heading toward the twilight of his career, Chelsea will be happy with the transfer.




We’d say Chelsea will be keen to get the Franca deal over the line, given that they have lost long-term star Ngolo Kante; they will be keen to find a long-term replacement. And although it won’t be easy, Matheus Franca could easily be that player if he continues to develop at the rate he has been over the last couple of years. 


He won’t be the first wunderkid that Chelsea has touted or paid big money for, and there are plenty of examples of young players who travelled to London hoping to light up the Premier League and couldn’t quite bridge the gap. However, Franca will be hoping he is an exception to that rule, and Pochettino will hope it takes a few inspired signings to pull Chelsea out of the current financial quagmire they have found themselves in.