Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Chelsea Monitoring This European Starlet Also Targeted By Man City: Should They Make A Move?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Sky Sports, Chelsea are monitoring Dinamo Zagreb winger Antonio Marin. The 18-year-old prospect has raised a lot of eyebrows with his performances in his native Croatia and is, therefore, targeted by Chelsea. However, the Blues could face stiff competition from Villarreal and Manchester City in the pursuit of this teenage sensation.

Marin’s rise to prominence

Marin has been a part of the Dinamo Zagreb youth academy since an early age. He played for the youth setup for over seven years before being promoted to the U17 squad in 2016. He impressed with the U17 and eventually moved to the U19 setup the following year.

Marin continued to impress in the Croatian youth leagues. As a result, he was promoted to the senior side last summer, at the age of just 17. Although the winger made his professional league debut during the 2017/18 season, he featured in seven games last season, registering three assists.

This season, Marin has already made four league appearances. And though he is yet to be involved in a single goal, he made quite an impression with his performance against Man City in the UEFA Youth League.

Should Chelsea make a move for Marin?

Chelsea cannot possibly make a move for Marin in the upcoming January transfer window. Their current transfer ban expires at the end of the season, meaning they are eligible to table a bid for the youngster next summer, which is perfect.

Marin, as mentioned earlier, has done well in the domestic league and is tipped for a breakout campaign at Dinamo Zagreb this season. A successful campaign in the Croatian top flight should give him the much-needed experience as he looks to make a mark at a higher level of football.

As far as Chelsea are concerned, they will need a couple of new wingers next summer, especially with Christian Pulisic struggling to make an impression under Frank Lampard. Besides, the duo of Willian and Pedro are not getting any younger and Marin, to that end, could be an ideal fit.

The Croatian starlet would join Chelsea’s young batch of talents individuals – a list that includes Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James and Tammy Abraham. And given how Lampard has emphasised on the development of young players, a move to Stamford Bridge might make sense for Marin.

Then again, a lot will depend on whether or not Marin manages to make his breakthrough in senior football this campaign.

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