Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile for a reported £34 million fee.
Badiashile has become Chelsea’s first major signing of the January transfer window, with Potter adding extra quality to his defensive ranks amid his side’s poor run of form.
The 21-year-old France international has signed a long-term contract at Stamford Bridge after spending the first four years of his career at Monaco, where he made 106 Ligue 1 appearances.
Badiashile expressed his delight after sealing the switch, telling Chelsea’s official website, “I’m very happy to be here at Chelsea. I’m so excited to start playing for this club. I can’t wait to see the fans and start playing in the best league in the world.”
Blues chairman Todd Boehly and co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali added: “We’re delighted to welcome Benoit to Chelsea. He’s an excellent young player who has quickly established a strong reputation for himself and has a huge amount of experience for his young age. We are sure he will form an important part of our team in the years ahead.”
The Blues had reportedly been seeking a specialist left-sided centre-back and Badiashile represents a cheaper option compared to RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol, who had initially been the club’s primary target. The Frenchman was also targeted due to his age, with Chelsea owner Todd Boehly aiming to forge a squad capable of competing for major trophies across all competitions in the long term.
Badiashile’s arrival will also give Potter more options at the back in the absence of Reece James following a fresh injury blow that has left the England international sidelined for another month.
Chelsea dropped to 10th after a 1-1 draw away at Nottingham Forest last time out, and supporters will hope that Badiashile is not the only new recruit through the doors this month amid links to Benfica and Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez.