Aston Villa confirmed on Tuesday evening that an agreement had been reached with Chelsea that would see Carney Chukwuemeka join the Blues after a personal terms were finalised and a medical completed. Fabrizio Romano said Villa will land themselves in excess of £15m plus add-ons for the 18-year-old.
Chukwuemeka leaving isn’t a shock, but it is a surprise that a deal has been done so quickly without the media catching on. And it’s surprising that he’s been sold to a Premier League rival after so interest from AC Milan and Barcelona, but Steven Gerrard clearly wanted this situation dealt with as quick as possible and that must be commended.
The 18-year-old rose through the youth ranks to Villa’s first-team 2020, scoring 10 goals with eight assists from 26 games for the U18s and scoring three goals with five assists from 28 games for the U23s. Chukwuemeka has gone on to make 16 appearances at senior level, grabbing one assist, but he’s started just two Premier League outings.
With the England U19 international refusing to sign a new deal beyond 2023 unless his £100k-per-week demands were met, the writing was on the wall. All Villa wanted was to make a good amount of money through his sale. Chukwuemeka has the potential to be a top midfielder in the future, but his value lowered due to the expiring contract, so the Claret and Blues couldn’t get as much as they wanted.