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Cesare after Cesar

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New owner Todd Boehly is not messing about at Chelsea. Having spent nearly £170 million already, The Blues are still not done. Chelsea remain engaged in talks over a world-record fee for Leicester Wesley Fofana’s and nobody knows how the Frenkie de Jong transfer saga will end. However, there has been an interesting wrinkle to Chelsea’s transfer policy this season. Along with the world-class additions, Chelsea are strengthening their youth ranks. Consequently, signings like Omari Hutchinson and Carney Chukwuemeka have followed. Cesare Casadei is another name that has joined the list after officially completing his move to Chelsea.

Italy has always been famous for its line of effortlessly elegant” midfielders. Be it Andrea Pirlo spraying passes from the deep, or Roberto Baggio and Francesco Totti doing their thing as their team’s “Trequartista“. However, with the advent of “Gegenpressing“, midfielders need to be “Effortfully elegant”. They are expected to contribute at both ends of the pitch while running themselves to the ground. No surprise then, that a player like Cesar Casadei was in huge demand.

Even though he has been sent on loan to Reading to gain some English football experience, it is just a matter of time before he starts for Chelsea. So who is Cesare Casadei? How excited should Stamford Bridge be by Cesare Casadei’s potential? We find out.

Cesare Casadei potential

Cesare Casadei came through the ranks at AC Cesena. After impressing in the youth ranks, he was snapped up by Inter Milan in 2018/19 as a 15-year-old.

Since then, he has taken the age-group football by storm. An elegant midfielder with an eye for a goal, Cesare Casadei’s potential has been talked about in excited voices ever since he signed for the club.

Chelsea have been undergoing a youth revolution under Todd Boehly. Exciting youngsters are being signed in conjunction with arrivals of world-class superstars. This leads to a harmonious dressing room where seniors can mentor the youngsters and the latter can develop under relatively less pressure.

Therefore, Casadei becomes an ideal part of the ongoing youth revolution. An idea about Cesare Casadei’s potential can be taken from how hard Chelsea are haggling with Inter for his signature. Italian clubs generally have a lot of youth players in a free loan system. However, Cesare Casadei is the crown jewel of Inter’s youth ranks. Inter wanted to insert a buy-back clause in the deal which Chelsea were not agreeing to, and the Blues eventually got their wish.

Why is he rated so highly in Inter youth circles?

Cesare Casadei- Scout Report

One look at Cesare Casadei is enough to convince that there is a quality player in there. Casadei is the perfect modern midfielder, where he is a jack of all trades, and a master of them too!

Playing style-

The offensive phase

On the offensive side, his stats speak for themselves. From the central-midfield position, Cesare Casadei has put up some truly ridiculous numbers in various youth competitions. 14 goals and four assists in 30 appearances tell their own story. However, it is the eye test that truly excites in Cesare Casadei’s scout report.

Just like Chelsea legend Frank Lampard, Casadei has a knack for arriving in the box at the perfect time. This interpretation of space helps him get on the end of cutbacks arriving from the wings. Moreover, he adds this intelligence with his physical attributes. Standing at more than 6 ft tall, Casadei is a prominent threat from set-pieces, regularly winning aerial duels in both boxes and being a general nuisance in the box.

His ability to smell where the ball will fall has helped him put up Lampard-Esque numbers at the youth level. He regularly creates overloads in the offensive phase with his well-timed runs into the box.

While the step-up from youth football to the senior game is a huge one in terms of physicality, the innate sense of space is something that is hard to teach, and even harder to defend against. Casadei has it in spades. As his career progresses, he can be converted into a “Mezzala” for his goalscoring prowess.

Complete midfielder

When it comes to conventional midfielder attributes, Casadei doesn’t lack either. He is expertly able to carry the ball from midfield. He skips past tackles with close control and regularly plays progressive passes to break through lines of defence. Although he had only four assists last season, it wasn’t for the lack of vision or willingness to pass. Expect those numbers to go up when he plays with better players.

In the defensive phase

Being a goalscoring menace doesn’t mean Casadei neglects his defensive duties. He regularly tracks back to defend his man and isn’t afraid to put in a tackle or two. He sometimes can get too attracted to the ball, leaving space to be exploited. However, that is an area where most youth players struggle, and is ironed out eventually through match experience.

 

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A post shared by Cesare Casadei (@_cesarecasadei_)

Due to the way Casadei has added different facets to his game, it is clear that there is a huge willingness to learn and improve. Under the guidance of Thomas Tuchel, and learning from the likes of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Kovacic, Casadei’s ceiling is that of a complete midfielder that is a rock in all three phases of the game, an Italian Frank Lampard, at best.

Cesare Casadei Chelsea transfer

It has been a rollercoaster summer window for Casadei. He made his first appearance for the senior team in a pre-season friendly, then looked set for Torino in Inter’s deal for Gleison Bremer. However, when Bremer went to Juventus instead, Chelsea came into the picture. After first registering their interest on August 3rd, the two teams had been locked in intense negotiation.

Having had multiple mids rejected, Chelsea finally got it their way with Inter Milan. The outfit from Stamford Bridge see Casadei as someone who can take the reins of the midfield in the next few years then become an anchor in that position. Having sorted their GK future with USMNT prodigy Gabriel Slonina, in Cesare Casadei Chelsea have got their midfield future sorted as well.

 

*This article is sponsored by Super Cutes

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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