'Being blocked': Agent of young defender says Chelsea are stopping his client from leaving in January

The agent of Xavier Mbuyamba has claimed that Chelsea are not allowing his client to leave this month.

Speaking to Goal, Carlos Barros suggested that the Blues have denied Mbuyamba multiple times in January the opportunity to move out on loan.  

What’s happening with Mbuyamba?

The 20-year-old remains part of the Under-23 squad, having only dabbled his toes in first-team training so far.

He is yet to make a senior appearance, despite being at the club since 2020.

Photo by Clive Howes – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

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Likened to Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, the Dutchman arrived at Cobham from Barcelona with a sizeable reputation to live up to.

However, his debut for Chelsea’s youth team had to be put on hold for nearly 12 months due to a serious injury that required surgery and lengthy rehabilitation.

After returning to the fold, Mbuyamba has generally struggled to emulate the Van Dijk tag placed upon his shoulders.

Thomas Tuchel is still yet to pick him for a competitive match, despite regularly calling up him to train with the main camp.

Angry agent

All of the centre-back’s minutes this season have arrived in the Premier League 2 or EFL Trophy.

This is to the frustration of Barros, who believes the Blues continue to prevent his player from joining someone else to serve their own interests.

“We have had talks with Chelsea about Xavier’s future all month,” said Mbuyamba’s representative.

Photo by Clive Howes – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

“There is a difference of opinion, to be honest. We feel that he is best served by going on loan but they want to keep him to help their Under-23s who are struggling.

“We are a bit frustrated because we have options in the UK and Dutch Eredivisie but they are currently being blocked.

“We just wanted to be open about the situation because we feel like the situation may slow down his development as a player.”

Under-23s under fire

The development side have been poor this year, thanks to the departure of several of their key assets last summer.

Lewis Bate and Tino Livramento were the main two losses, with Dynel Simeu also being sold, whilst Levi Colwill and Thierno Ballo were sent on loan.

Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images

Andy Myers couldn’t afford to lose Mbuyamba as well, one of his main central defenders.

Keeping him on board hasn’t exactly changed the fortunes of the young Blues.

In the league, they have won just four times this term, keeping just two clean sheets.

Nobody knows if these results would be different had Mbuyamba been allowed to leave.

One thing is clear, though: Barros wants the centre-half out of Chelsea as soon as possible.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.