Reports from several news outlets and Twitter accounts claim that Chelsea FC have added 18-year old Croatian and Hajduk Split midfielder Mario Pasalic in a £3 million pound transfer today. This is the latest signing in what appears to be Chelsea’s plan to sign every talented young midfielder in Europe and develop him via loans or the academy.
One of many tweets here:
— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) January 30, 2014
Pasalic is a central attacking midfielder who some pundits have already dubbed the new Luka Modric. This is high praise for the youngster being compared to the little Real Madrid and Croatia playmaker but Pasalic also adds a physical presence at 6’1″ that Modric does not. He has a goal scoring touch as evidenced by his six goals in just 13 appearances in what is his first season in the Hajduk senior squad. Pasalic made his debut in April 2013 and also led the Hajduk U-19 squad to a championship in 2012.
With all the word buzzing around the internet and even Pasalic’s Wikipedia page being updated to show that he has become a Chelsea player, the question now is will he be sent on loan or brought in to the Cobham Academy. There is also the option of letting Pasalic stay with Hajduk on loan until the end of the season, which is what Chelsea did with Kevin De Bruyne and Genk. Unless Pasalic improves dramatically he likely will not be seen in the first team but you never know how these things go. At worst he will become an asset to sell on in later years to help Chelsea comply with FFP.