Mauricio Pochettino, the manager-elect of Chelsea, appears to be on the lookout for his next Mousa Dembele, and the pursuit of Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia seems to align with his ambitions.
The Blues are continuing their relentless pursuit of transfers, with owner Todd Boehly aiming to provide Pochettino with a strong foundation for immediate success.
According to a report from Football Insider, Chelsea remains highly interested in Romeo Lavia and is making a significant push to secure his services from Southampton, despite the club’s recent relegation.
The incoming Argentinian manager is said to be a huge fan of the young midfielder, further fueling their determination to sign him.
While a concrete approach is expected to be made once the new head coach is in place, it’s worth noting that a deal has already been agreed upon for Pochettino’s appointment, having previously managed Tottenham Hotspur.
Talks regarding Lavia’s potential move have been ongoing for several months, but there is a ticking clock on a potential deal due to Manchester City’s £45m buy-back clause, which only becomes active in 2024.
At just 19 years old, Romeo Lavia impressed in his first full season in senior football, particularly considering Southampton’s struggles as a team heavily reliant on young talent.
Despite the lack of experience around him, Lavia stood out with an impressive average rating of 6.83, placing him among the top performers at his club.
Lavia’s defensive excellence and composure on the ball are notable attributes. With an 86% pass accuracy, two tackles, and 1.1 interceptions per game, as well as a 70% dribble success rate, the teenage star has shown great resilience against pressure, as highlighted by Sofascore.
His combination of poise, grace, and strong work rate, along with the shared Argentinian nationality with Pochettino, invites comparisons to former Pochettino favorite Mousa Dembele.
During the 2015/16 season at Tottenham Hotspur, Dembele showcased exceptional skills with a 7.41 average rating, boasting a 90% pass accuracy, 92% dribble success rate, and 3.6 tackles per game, according to Sofascore. These levels of performance were truly remarkable.
Although Lavia has yet to reach the heights of Dembele, the young midfielder possesses key attributes and has ample time to develop into a similar role.
Dean Jones, a transfer insider, offered his insight into Pochettino finding a new version of the 35-year-old Belgian, emphasizing Dembele’s strength, awareness, technical ability, and poise. Jones suggests that the signing of Romeo Lavia from Southampton would perfectly fit the bill and is already on Chelsea’s watchlist for a summer transfer.
Considering Dembele’s instrumental role in Tottenham’s progress during Pochettino’s tenure, it is evident that the Chelsea manager-elect is eager to attract Lavia as the ideal candidate to be molded in his image.