Chelsea have completed the signing of Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile in a £35m deal on a seven-and-a-half-year contract.
Sky Sports News reported in late December the west London club were in advanced talks over a deal for the 21-year-old France international and the player completed his switch to Stamford Bridge on Thursday.
Badiashile is considered one of the best young left-footed centre-backs in Europe and this has been a profile of player Chelsea have wanted since the summer.
“I’m very happy to be here at Chelsea. I’m so excited to start playing for this club,” Badiashile said.
“I can’t wait to see the fans and start playing in the best league in the world.”
Badiashile completed his medical on Monday and becomes Chelsea’s second signing of the January transfer window, following the arrival of David Datro Fofana from Molde. The Blues also gave a medical to 18-year-old Vasco da Gama midfielder Andrey Santos on Saturday.
Since Todd Boehly took control of Chelsea in May 2022, the club have pursued a strategy of signing talented young players. Wesley Fofana (21), Carney Chukwuemeka (19), Cesare Casadei (19), Fofana (20) and Gabriel Slonina (18) have all joined the club.
In a joint statement, chairman Boehly and co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali said: “We’re delighted to welcome Benoit to Chelsea.
“He’s an excellent young player who has quickly established a strong reputation for himself and has a huge amount of experience for his young age. We are sure he will form an important part of our team in the years ahead.”
After making his Monaco debut at the age of 17 in 2018, Badiashile went on to make 135 appearances for his boyhood club. The 6ft 4in defender made his full international debut for France in September 2022, but did not make Didier Deschamps’ squad for the World Cup in Qatar.
Chelsea have fallen to 10th in the Premier League after managing just one win in seven games either side of the World Cup, but could move up to seventh with a win over reigning champions Manchester City on Thursday night, live on Sky Sports.
Badiashile’s first opportunity to play could come on Sunday in the FA Cup, when Chelsea take on the same opposition in Manchester, while his Premier League debut could come in a west London derby at Fulham on January 12.