Chelsea Keeping Tabs On This Young European Midfielder: How Will He Fit In At Stamford Bridge?

Frank Lampard, Manager of Chelsea acknowledges the fans after the Premier League match between Leicester City and Chelsea FC at The King Power Stadium on February 01, 2020 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by Calciomercato, Chelsea are monitoring Rapid Vienna midfielder Melih Ibrahimoglu but will face stiff competition from AS Roma and Sampdoria in pursuit of his signature. The same source has also revealed that the Austrian outfit could settle for an offer around €3.5m for their teen sensation whose contract runs out in the summer of 2021.

Ibrahimoglu’s Gradual Rise In Austrian Football

The 19-year-old began his career at SK Slovan HAC Youth before going on to join Rapid Vienna’s academy back in 2012. He has come through the youth ranks of the Austrian Bundesliga side and has shown a lot of promise so far. He is on the brink of breaking into Vienna’s first-team but still has a lot way to go before he can prove his worth at the highest level.

Ibrahimoglu has featured in two matches for Dietmar Kühbauer’s team in the Austrian first division, playing a total of 19 minutes in the process. There is no denying that the talented midfielder needs more game time if he wants to unlock his true potential. He is currently an inexperienced member of the Austrian Under-20 side, having taken part in two international friendly matches for them thus far.

The Vienna whizkid has been labelled as the ‘new Mesut Ozil’ back in his homeland. He is of Turkish origin and has shown outstanding technical qualities through his performances for both his club and country this season. There are some similarities between Ozil and Ibrahimoglu in terms of their playing style. However, the Austrian youngster still has a lot of room for improvement before he is ready to compete at the top level.

Frank Lampard, Manager of Chelsea looks on during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Hull City and Chelsea at KCOM Stadium on January 25, 2020, in Hull, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Ibrahimoglu is a quick and agile midfielder who loves to make driving runs with the ball from midfield. He is also a decent ball-distributor and can create some inviting openings for his teammates in the opposition half. However, the Austrian U-20 international needs to work on improving his strength so that he can dominate the midfield battles and win back possession more often at the centre of the park.

How Will Ibrahimoglu Fit In At Stamford Bridge?

The Vienna starlet’s ceiling is sky-high, so a top club like Chelsea will undoubtedly benefit a lot from adding him to their youth ranks. However, Ibrahimoglu will find it even more challenging to break out as a starter in Frank Lampard’s first-team. At his current level, he is nowhere near ready to feature in the Premier League every week. At the same time, if Ibrahimoglu is willing to be patient, then he could choose to swap clubs in search of a more prominent platform ahead of the new campaign.

The Blues have some top young talents in their squad with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Billy Gilmour expected to fight it out for one of the central midfield spots at Stamford Bridge in the coming years. Hence, it is difficult to imagine how a young player like Ibrahimoglu will fit into Lampard’s plans when there is already so much depth and quality in his midfield.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.