Premier League side Chelsea sent scouts to watch AS Roma winger Cengiz Under in action this weekend against Inter Milan, according to a report on Talksport, who quote Italian news outlet CalcioMercato.
The forward managed to find the back of the net as Roma played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with rivals Inter.
The Turkish international is well known for his pace and dribbling, and Chelsea are understood to be interested in signing him.
The 21-year-old is valued at £45m and the Blues could face a battle to sign him, with London rivals Arsenal also sending scouts to watch him.
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is keen to find replacements for the ageing Willian and Pedro. Under has established himself as a regular first-team starter for Roma after signing for just £11m one year ago.
The winger was in the headlines last week as he missed a remarkable open goal against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.
In Other News:
Maurizio Sarri needs his best players around him to learn his tactics before they can take the pitch for Chelsea. Callum Hudson-Odoi’s breakthrough against PAOK reveals the wisdom in his not going on loan.
Chelsea fans’ first exposure to Maurizio Sarri’s high level of tactical detail came in interviews with Nathaniel Chalobah. One of Chalobah’s loans was to Sarri’s Napoli. Chalobah talked about the infamous playbook of 33 separate tactical plays on all areas of the pitch, from corners to throw-ins to goal kicks.
Chalobah talked about how he had a slow start because it took him a long time to get used to them all. He was not trusted with a role in the lineup until he had familiarised himself with the entire book. Since Sarri arrived at Chelsea there has been no mention of a specific playbook which copies that of his Napoli days. But the similarities are there, and the players are likely under the same demands.
More so under Maurizio Sarri than other managers, a loan sends a player away from where he will learn what he needs to learn to play for that manager. The best place for his players to learn Sarri’s complex tactical system is unquestionably with Sarri at Chelsea, working day in and day out with the manager.
Sarri kept players like Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley and Callum Hudson-Odoi at Chelsea to learn his tactics firsthand, rather than playing in a different tactical system while improving their physical and technical traits. These players are at the right level physically and technically, and need to become stronger tactically. This is why the possibility of Loftus-Cheek leaving on loan in January was unimaginable to Maurizio Sarri. Why would he be sent on loan when the thing he needs to improve can only be improved under him at Chelsea?
The same is true of Callum Hudson-Odoi. Sarri likely chose to keep Hudson-Odoi because he was impressed by Hudson-Odoi’s physicality and technique, but recognized his need to improve his tactics. This suggesta that when Hudson-Odoi fully learns the system, he will be ready to lead the line in small games and come off the bench in big ones.
Hudson-Odoi’s impact in preseason and subsequent inclusion in the first-team squad this year excited a lot of Chelsea fans at the start of the season. His omission on all fronts at the start cooled that excitement completely.
Against PAOK, Hudson-Odoi played his first full 90 minutes this season. Hudson-Odoi was a constant threat from left wing, contributing a goal, an assist and numerous important crosses and runs on both sides of the pitch. The importance of replicating his form on the right side will help his future, as it is an easier position to break into at Chelsea than left wing.
Hudson-Odoi still needs time to be introduced to the squad properly and feature regularly from the bench or with starts in smaller games. But his Europa League performance has shown the manager he’s well on the way to being ready to make an impact on the Premier League.
He’s right where he should be at the moment – not on loan, but training with the manager who knows what his future can hold.