Chelsea to sign U20 wonderkid striker as Mauricio Pochettino welcome package

Mauricio Pochettino is poised to become Chelsea’s new manager at the end of this season and Todd Boehly hopes to have a gift waiting for the Argentine in the form of a new signing

Chelsea are ready to step up their interest in Gambian wonderkid Adama Bojang, who’s made a spectacular start to the Under-20 World Cup in Argentina.

The highly-rated striker, 18, scored after just 30 seconds in his country’s opening group stage game against Honduras on Monday before netting another goal to earn Gambia a 2-1 victory. Bojang, who plays for native side Steve Biko FC, was already on Chelsea’s radar before the tournament began and the Blues hope to offer him as a welcome gift for incoming manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Nicknamed ‘the Gambian hurricane’ and standing at a towering 6ft 3ins, Bojang’s four goals in the under-20 Africa Cup of Nations drew interest from clubs across the globe. Premier League quartet Tottenham, Brighton, Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest are said to be monitoring the 18-year-old’s progress, as well as European giants Inter Milan, Marseille, Ajax and Sporting Lisbon.

Chelsea hope to steal a march on their rivals once the summer transfer window opens in June, but don’t expect him to be playing at Stamford Bridge just yet. As reported by the Daily Mail, Bojang would struggle to get a UK work permit immediately due to new Brexit rules, so the Blues plan to loan him out next season.

Chelsea chief Todd Boehly, who’s soon expected to confirm the appointment of Pochettino, is exploring a multi-club model and could loan the 18-year-old to one of the Blues’ satellite teams. Their scouts will get at least two more looks at Bojang when Gambia face France this Thursday and then South Korea on Sunday in a bid to reach the knockout stages.

The teenage hotshot has become aware of the speculation but isn’t getting ahead of himself. “I’ve heard about the news and I am excited about it,” he told BBC Sport Africa earlier this year. It boosts my morale. I’m focusing more on consistency which motivates me a lot, because seeing such clubs following you is a great feeling. Through consistency it will make them hungrier for me.”

Adama Bojang has shone for Gambia’s under-20s

Real Madrid are his “dream club,” so no prizes for guessing who his idol is. “I want to be like Cristiano Ronaldo,” Bojang revealed. “Because he’s my favourite when it comes to the big-name players. I’ve been watching his videos on YouTube after games. He posts his workout there so sometimes I try to watch those and motivate myself through that.”

For now, he’ll hope to fire Gambia to glory and make up for the heartache which his nation suffered in March. The Scorpions made the final of the under-20 AFCON before agonisingly losing 2-0 to Senegal, with Bojang’s four goals throughout their run earning him a place in the team of the tournament.

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