BARRIO – Chelsea’s push for the best and brightest young talent continues as they are finalizing a deal for 15-year-old Kendry Paez, who currently plays for Independiente del Valle‘s youth team in Ecuador.
The Ecuador U17 international was apparently held back from playing for their U20 team at the recently concluded CONMEBOL U20 Championship (that Andrey Santos’s Brazil won), with a view towards first-team integration and action — he has made the bench in each of their first two games so far on the young season.
Paez is classified as an attacking, playmaking midfielder at the moment, but he’s also just 15, so that position’s not exactly set in stone. And yes, he has been likened to Messi already as well, though he’s already around 175cm (5’8”) — i.e. taller than Leo.
Paez is highly coveted, with “up to a dozen” teams in the Premier League alone chasing his signature. But it sounds like Chelsea might have won this contest. Any transfer would have to wait to go through until Paez turns 18 in 2025. But teams can loophole around that by agreeing the deal now, which seems to be becoming a bit of a trend in Europe.