Xavier Mbuyamba moved one step closer to his senior debut for Chelsea this week after being promoted to first-team training by Thomas Tuchel.
Dutch defender Mbuyamba, 19, said he was “truly blessed” after being asked to step up with Chelsea’s senior stars by Tuchel.
Mbuyamba was signed for the Blues Academy by Frank Lampard from Chelsea last summer after being released by Barcelona.
And with a number of first team stars away on international duty, Mbuyamba was invited to train with the first team at Cobham. It’s a move which has delighted the 6ft 5in defender.
“A moment I’ve been working towards since joining this incredible club,” he wrote on Instagram.
“Truly blessed to be training with the first team this week. Lots to learn and my motivation is on another level right now!”
Metro report that Lampard was “preparing to integrate Mbuyamba into his first-team squad” before the teenager suffered a serious injury shortly after arriving at Stamford Bridge.
Mbuyamba suffered a meniscus injury and needed surgery, but he made his debut for the club’s development side in April. And now he is eager to push on again after working with Chelsea’s big guns.
Elsewhere, Romelu Lukaku says Chelsea offered two players in exchange for him at Inter Milan before the Blues finally agreed to pay €115m to re-sign the striker.
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Lukaku says he did not realise Chelsea were so serious about him until he learned of a number of offers.
The returning Chelsea forward has admitted he pleaded with Inter to let him return to the Premier League despite holding plenty of respect for the Serie A giants.
Lukaku, 28, was just as eager to return to the capital as Chelsea were of getting the Belgium striker back on board. The £97.5m spent on the former Everton striker took the transfer fees, excluding loans, spent on him to around £285m.
Manchester United spent £75m of that on a deal to bring him to Old Trafford from Everton in July 2017. And he admits to being in a “deep hole” at United.
Lukaku reveals transfer offers
Still, despite being thankful to Inter he did have his heart set on a transfer to Chelsea – a deal which eventually happened.
Chelsea though first tried to offer Marcos Alonso and then Davide Zappacosta.
Alonso remains at Stamford Bridge and has started all three of Chelsea’s Premier League games to date. Fellow defender Zappacosta has though departed to Atalanta for a fee of €10m.
Speaking on international duty, Lukaku revealed the details of Chelsea’s approaches.
“I only realised that Chelsea were serious when they made their third offer. First they offered €100m. Then €105m, €105m plus Alonso. Then they offered €110m plus Zappacosta, but Inter said no,” Lukaku told HLN.
“I didn’t want to go behind Inter’s back. They got me out of the sh*t. I was in a deep hole at Manchester United.
“After training I went to [head coach Simone] Inzaghi’s office. I didn’t want to ruin the atmosphere because I was no longer with my head in Milan. So I asked him: please find an agreement.”