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Xavier Mbuyamba


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It's the development squad number and not first team.

His full name:😳 Xavier Tshimanga Kamaluba Ntite Mukendi Mpoyi Mbuyamba

Seems TT likes having every position double-covered, even with 6 cbs. A sign we are not gonna see a back 4 anytime soon. Also given Mbuyamba is the exact opposite type of defender as Kounde it sh

Definitely agree he needs a loan or two, perhaps to France initially. Getting schooled at youth level somewhat, put that down to his long term injury perhaps, he's played well but prone to mistakes and gets drawn in way too easily at the moment.

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Thomas Tuchel promotes 'next Virgil van Dijk' signed by Frank Lampard to first team

Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich were all chasing the towering defender, who is now part of Tuchel's plans after eventually opting to join Chelsea following a stint at Barcelona

https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/Chelsea-thomas-tuchel-xavier-mbuyamba-24908576

 

Thomas Tuchel has promoted youngster Xavier Mbuyamba into the Chelsea first-team, a year after he was signed by former Blues boss Frank Lampard.

Chelsea swooped to snap up the the teenager last summer after he was released from Barcelona.

Since then he has began to flourish in Chelsea's academy after overcoming an initial problem with a knee injury.

The 6ft 5ins defender has been likened to fellow Dutchman Virgil van Dijk, and was even attracting attention from Liverpool not so long ago.

That was when Mbuyamba was just starting out as a professional, having made his debut aged just 16 for Dutch side MVV Maastricht.

Xavier Mbuyamba (L) had his first training sessions with Chelsea's seniors this week

In doing so, he became the club's youngest ever player, and soon had some of Europe's elite chasing his signature.

Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were also showing interest, as well as Liverpool, while Mbuyamba went on trial with Chelsea, only for him to eventually move to Barcelona.

However, things didn't quite work out for him at the Nou Camp, with Lampard finally getting his man last year, having previously been hindered by the transfer ban imposed on Chelsea.

Now Lampard's successor Tuchel is beginning to reap the benefits, as he promoted Mbuyamba earlier this week for his first training session alongside the senior players.

Mbuyamba, 19, was overjoyed, writing on Instagram : "A moment I’ve been working towards since joining this incredible club.

“Truly blessed to be training with the first team this week.

“Lots to learn, and my motivation is on another level right now!”

Chelsea have seen a number of promising youth stars move on in recent seasons, but Mbuyamba will no doubt be buoyed by the rise of Mason Mount into established first team regular, as well as the recent emergence of Trevor Chalobah.

When signing for Chelsea, his agent Carlos Barros admitted the club had gone all out to convince his client that his future would be best served at Stamford Bridge.

Mbuyamba in action for Chelsea's under-23 side

“Chelsea have the best papers. Of course we discussed this extensively last year," Barros said. “Chelsea gave a fantastic presentation. There is a unique football atmosphere there.

“You immediately sit with the first-team players during lunch and the club has outlined a very ambitious plan for Xavier.”

Mbuyamba has already represented Netherland at under-19 level, and like Liverpool star van Dijk, seemed to slip through the net of the big clubs in his homeland.

"It is strange that they [Ajax, PSV] never came, but the same applies to the KNVB," he told RTL previously.

"I was called up for the first time [to the Under-19s squad] in November 2019.

"The staff immediately said that they thought it strange that I had never been noticed before."

Tuchel's decision to promote Mbuyamba may have something to do with Chelsea missing out on signing centre-back Jules Kounde from Sevilla before the transfer window shut.

Chelsea thought they had agreed a fee with the Spanish club, only for Sevilla to raise their asking price, scuppering a deal for the 22-year-old.

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Seems TT likes having every position double-covered, even with 6 cbs. A sign we are not gonna see a back 4 anytime soon.

Also given Mbuyamba is the exact opposite type of defender as Kounde it shows he is quite flexible in thar regard.

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3 hours ago, DH1988 said:

Hopefully it’s for experience, he’s been awful when I watched the youth games, nasty injury though.

How so? I have never seen him but hype train hit me. What kind of CB is he?

 

I feel as more and more clubs starting to ignore muscle men in their frontyards(like City playing with Ferran Torres as false 9 or us with Kai/Puli) it’s getting less and less important for CB’s to be physically strong. Thus we are doing very well with Dave who is small or with Christensen who can be delivered by medium thunders. Passing ability and constructive thinking is more important than ever, so if this guy has nothing to offer more then being big will not do the job, same reason Adama Traoré is not wanted by big clubs. Strong and quick as fuck but brainless and cannot fulfill complex expectations.

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17 hours ago, DH1988 said:

Hopefully it’s for experience, he’s been awful when I watched the youth games, nasty injury though.

Would guess he's only training with the first team because most players are out with their international squads and Tuchel needs the numbers to have a team training. I don't think anyone is suggesting he's being permanently promoted to the senior squad, though if he impresses Tuchel in training anything's possible I guess.

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19 hours ago, nyikolajevics said:

How so? I have never seen him but hype train hit me. What kind of CB is he?

 

I feel as more and more clubs starting to ignore muscle men in their frontyards(like City playing with Ferran Torres as false 9 or us with Kai/Puli) it’s getting less and less important for CB’s to be physically strong. Thus we are doing very well with Dave who is small or with Christensen who can be delivered by medium thunders. Passing ability and constructive thinking is more important than ever, so if this guy has nothing to offer more then being big will not do the job, same reason Adama Traoré is not wanted by big clubs. Strong and quick as fuck but brainless and cannot fulfill complex expectations.

The kind that was signed for his height, judging by what I’ve seen and I’ll be honest to say I’ve only seen games since his return to injury, so I cannot comment on YouTube clips where anyone can look good. Lapses in concentration and gets caught in bad positions 1v1.

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Unfazed by Van Dijk comparisons, young Chelsea defender is already impressing Thomas Tuchel

OPINION: Chelsea's summer exodus of promising young talent was concerning, but defender Xavier Mbuyamba is proving there is certainly talent still at Cobham to be excited about after training with the first team

https://www.football.london/Chelsea-fc/players/mbuyamba-unfazed-van-dijk-comparisons-21504312

 

A lot of the focus for Chelsea supporters this summer has been the sudden exodus of a group of talented youth products in search of regular first-team football.

Marc Guehi, Valentino Livramento, Lewis Bate, Myles-Peart Harris, Ike Ugbo and Tammy Abraham have all vacated Cobham. The slight exception is Tino Anjorin joining Lokomotiv Moscow on a loan with an option to buy for £17m.

Even if the number of departures are worthy of scrutiny, the club still boast exciting talent still contracted to the club who will hope to follow the path of Trevoh Chalobah this summer and find their futures in west London. One of those hopefuls is defender Xavier Mbuyamba, who has been recently promoted to first-team training at Cobham.

The 19-year-old only joined Chelsea in 2020 after leaving Barcelona’s iconic La Masia academy after months of speculation. The Dutch under-23 international began life for his local club MMV Maastrict and progressed through the youth ranks from the age of 9 before being recruited by the Spanish giants in 2019.

Mbuyamba committed his future to Chelsea till at least 2023, but sadly experienced a first-year mostly defined by a torn meniscus injury which kept him out until mid-April when he finally made his debut for the U23’s against Southampton. It was an impactful 24-minute cameo as he scored from a set-piece to wrap up the points in a 3-1 win for Andy Myers side.

The start to his second season has gone much better, featuring in all of the U23’s fixtures so far and now has the benefit of training alongside first-team players at Cobham to make up numbers during the international break.

Mbuyamba’s tall frame, comfort on the ball and nationality all lead to the expected tag of replicating the success of Virgil van Dijk. But it is clear he is not overly fussed by the expectation as revealed in an interview with Dutch news site NOS back in May.

Xavier Mbuyamba trained with the senior squad for the first time during the international break

“I know there is a lot of pressure on me at Chelsea. I come from FC Barcelona, I am talked about a lot and I get the stamp 'the new Virgil van Dijk'. I don't care. I show that I can handle it and be as good as they say.”

The interview is accompanied by photos of the defender wearing a classic Chelsea home shirt from 2003 which endeared him to fans on social media.

Even if the jump up to first-team training seems swift, Mbuyamba experienced similar pressure at Barca as he reveals in the same interview that he trained with Lionel Messi in his time with the club. "I gave a panna (the ball between the legs.) to Antoine Griezmann and Nélson Semedo. They probably didn't like that."

Positionally Mbuyamba can play on the left side of the defence, in particular a back-three which he has for Andy Myers in the development squad so far. It's an area that Thomas Tuchel is arguably short in with Antonio Rudiger regularly holding onto that spot without an obvious backup. Rudiger’s unresolved contract situation could also make further room in the squad next summer if he decides to leave.

Both Mbuyamba and Levi Colwill, on loan at Huddersfield, can play in that role and might find themselves promoted in the next year, if Thiago Silva also departs at the end of his current contract.

Paree, Owner of The Chelsea Spot – a fan-run site covering the Blues is an avid viewer of the youth academy and has tracked Mbuyamba's first 12 months pretty closely. "He joined the development squad towards the end of last season, and straight away impressed in the PL2. He looked very comfortable on the ball, was a huge presence at the back, scored on his debut and also managed to pick up an assist later on thanks to his brilliant long-range passing.

This season, he’s replaced Levi Colwill who’s had a brilliant start to his loan at Huddersfield Town, and has played in both the middle and left centre-back positions while continuing his form with some solid performances. As expected at academy level, he has made a few mistakes and shown slight areas to work on, especially with the attackers getting around him a bit too often. Except, his recovery has been very good and, in the end, normally does end up making the challenge. It will be interesting to see if in senior football he is able to make the same recoveries, or whether that’s something that could cost him.

Seeing him being promoted to the first-team training during the international break is certainly very encouraging. Speaking to a few academy players who have done similar before, they always mention that the coaches are normally very impressed with them, and that it always puts them in good contention to train with the first team later on if they ever need numbers. Hopefully, he’s done the same too.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the future with him. I have no doubts in January he will get quite a few loan offers, but if I was him I’d stick with the development squad throughout the season, get used to English football and go on loan next season where he can have a fresh start with a good pre-season. He’s certainly got a brilliant profile for a defender and plays very much with the Chelsea philosophy. However, so does Levi, and it will be very fascinating to see in a few years’ time whether both can make the squad (fingers crossed), or whether it’s only one of them, in which case Colwill may get the nod due to being left-footed"

Given his current standing at Chelsea, football.london understands the plan is for him to stay until January and continue to get regular minutes for the Development Squad. In addition, continuing to train with the senior squad when possible, and then revaluate in January as to whether he goes out on loan for the remainder of the season.

The path for any Chelsea youngster is unpredictable given how swiftly the direction of the club can shift within an 18-month period. Mbuyamba revealed he spoke to Frank Lampard before choosing to swap La Masia for Cobham. By the time he returned from his injury in the spring, Tuchel had arrived.

But even if his eventual journey does not lead in a similar vein to Trevoh Chalobah, Mbuyamba’s development will certainly be an entertaining watch.

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18 hours ago, NikkiCFC said:

https://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/Chelsea-are-blocking-potential-loan-moves-mbuyamba-s-agent/bltd966aa547305a8b2

'Chelsea are blocking potential loan moves' - Mbuyamba's agent worried about defender's progression

 

Seems odd. If he has offers in the Championship and the Dutch league it makes perfect sense to loan him.

Even more so now with the loan numbers changing to 8 international loans per club next season as well as he wouldn’t be in the classification to be exempt as he isn’t a homegrown player u21 player. 

Personally think that the u23s struggling shouldn’t come into it at all. U23 football is of a poor standard and if the u23s position has any real bearing on the decision making then those involved should have their head checked. 

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