Transfers

Chelsea sign Lavia from Southampton

18 Aug 2023
Lavia, Chelsea

Belgian midfielder agrees to a seven-year deal and will wear the No 45 shirt

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Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Belgian midfielder Romeo Lavia from Southampton.

Lavia, 19, signs a seven-year contract with Chelsea and will wear the No 45 shirt.

"The project and the ambitions of the club were key factors in me choosing Chelsea, but also the history behind the club," Lavia told the club's official website.

"I’m really happy and proud. It’s a privilege to be able to put on this shirt. Most of the players we’ve signed are players I’ve played against, and thought ‘ooooof, these players are good’, so to be able to work with them is a great feeling.

"They are young players and good players, so it will be good to make each other better. That’s the only way to succeed."

Lavia is entering his fourth season in England after leaving his boyhood club of Anderlecht at the age of 16 to join Manchester City's Academy, having been spotted by Pep Guardiola at a youth tournament in Belgium organised by City captain, Kevin De Bruyne.

The 19-year-old spent two seasons with City, quickly impressing at youth level and seeing his fine form and development rewarded with a first-team debut in the EFL Cup against Wycombe Wanderers, winning City's Elite Development Squad Player of the Season award in 2020/21.

Lavia was signed by Southampton last summer and made 29 Premier League appearances. He won possession 187 times over the course of the campaign and was one of only three teenagers at the start of 2022/23 to attempt at least 60 tackles across Europe's top five leagues. 

Lavia continues Chelsea's remarkable summer of spending, becoming the west London club's 13th addition of the window, further strengthening their midfield following the recent signing of Moises Caicedo for a reported British record transfer fee of £115m.

Chelsea fans could get their first glimpse of him this Sunday as they take on West Ham United at London Stadium.

See: Summer 2023 transfers

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