Chelsea have reportedly joined the race to sign 19-year-old Albanian centre-back Marash Kumbulla. The Sun has reported that the Blues are the latest of several top European clubs to express an interest in his signature.
The Hellas Verona centre-back only broke into the club’s first-team this season but is already being hailed as one of Serie A’s top young prospects. He has put in a number of commanding performances and is looking like a player with bags of potential.
Kumbulla earned himself a debut for the Albania national side in October and has made 12 appearances for Verona so far this season. The report suggests that Manchester United, Juventus, Inter Milan and RB Leipzig are among the other clubs interested, so securing his services will not be easy.
This level of interest from top European clubs shows how impressive the young defender has been this season. Hellas Verona are keen on cashing in on the 19-year-old while they can which could cause an intense bidding war.
However, Chelsea may want to stay clear of Kumbulla. The Blues already have four promising young defenders in the first-team set-up. That is before Marc Guehi or Ethan Ampadu are considered, who are on loan at Swansea City and RB Leipzig respectively.
Although the potential is clear to see, the young Albanian has only done it for half a season. Forking out a large fee would be a big risk for a player that has so little top-level experience. No one can predict the defender’s development, but Lampard should bide his time on this one and monitor how he develops over the next coming months.