‘Very interested’: 17-year-old Dortmund defender claims Chelsea really wanted to sign him

Chelsea were apparently keen to sign Nnamdi Collins before he joined Borussia Dortmund in 2016.

This is coming from the player himself, who told the Secret Scout about the Blues’ intrigue a few years back.

Story of Nnadmi Collins

Collins was snatched up by Dortmund from Fortuna Dusseldorf as a 12-year-old over a half a decade ago.

Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

He has since shot through the ranks and is now an established member of the academy set-up.

The young defender is rated so highly by the Signal Iduna Park hierarchy, they extended his contract to 2023 last May.

After impressing for the Under-17s, the centre-back was asked to train with then Lucien Favre’s first-team, allowing him to challenge the likes of Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham.

A permanent move to the senior squad is surely just over the horizon for Collins.

However, he may have to be patience for his big BVB breakthrough, due to missing a huge chunk of the campaign through injury.

Chelsea came after Collins

When the 17-year-old does eventually pull on the black and gold jersey in the Bundesliga for the first time, Chelsea might look back in regret at what could’ve been.

Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

“That’s right. They were very interested,” said Collins on the attention from Stamford Bridge,  

“In any case it was out of the question for me and Dortmund was always my first option.

“I feel very comfortable here. For sure, the Premier League is a league where I want to play one day. It’s the best league in the world.

“However, I’m firmly convinced that it was the right decision to stay here in Dortmund and I’m looking forward to the coming years.”

Made in Dortmund

Luckily for Chelsea, it seems Collins has left the door open for a move to South West London in the future.

Unfortunately, by the time he is properly prepared for England’s top flight, the Blues might not be the only attentive suitors.

Such is the case with Dortmund’s construction line of emerging superstars.

They have such a good eye for finding players just before they hit the peak of their powers.

Haaland, Bellingham and Jadon Sancho are prime examples, but the list is longer than just this talented trio.

Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Gio Reyna, Nuri Sahin, Mario Gotze and Ousmane Dembele, amongst others, were all housed by the Bundesliga club at an early age before becoming household European names.

Christian Pulisic was another identified by Dortmund, ahead of his 2019 transfer to Chelsea.

Perhaps the Blues can use their German links to land Collins one day as well.

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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.