It’s been a period of big rebuilding at Stamford Bridge. Every single department at Chelsea is being revamped and numerous additions have been made on and off the pitch. The club continue to build a side for the future and their latest addition is 17-year-old Dujuan Richards, who Chelsea signed from under the noses of Newcastle United at the very last moment.
The transfer policy is becoming very clear for Chelsea now and is kind of an inspiration from their rivals Arsenal and Liverpool where they sign players who show great potential and then integrate them into the starting XI gradually. We can see the results of these practices as Liverpool managed to win a league and a UEFA Champions League under Klopp while Arteta’s revolution at Arsenal is now edging them to a first league title since 2003.
Andrey Santos and Cesare Casadei who were signed in accordance with this strategy have already started to show why Chelsea spent a significantly big amount on them. Santos ripped up the 2023 South American U-20 Championship while Cesare Casadei is now doing well in the second tier of English football with Reading.
Dujuan ‘Whisper’ Richards as mentioned was on his way to Newcastle United. He had a two-week trial in the North East and had attended a match at St James’ Park last month as well but Chelsea’s new Co-Director of Recruitment and Talent Joe Shields who joined the club last October swooped in and managed to persuade the youngster to sign for The Blues’. Let’s get to know Chelsea’s latest acquisition,
Official. Chelsea sign Jamaican talent Dujuan ‘Whisper’ Richards — born in 2005, wonderkid joining from Phoenix All Stars 🔵🇯🇲 #CFC
Newcastle were close to signing him but Chelsea have now completed the deal, director Joe Shields was crucial in the negotiations. pic.twitter.com/YW3Ron6raT
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 11, 2023
Background on Dujuan Richards
Dujuan began his career at age of 12 with the Jamaican club Phoenix and showed great potential right from the day he joined the club. After strong performances with Phoenix’s youth side he received Newcastle’s offer to train with them for two weeks. He also received offers from Real Sociedad, AFC Ajax and Genk but his preference was always to go to England as he had spent his time at Brooke House College in Leicestershire.
Craig Butler, his agent and also the head of Phoenix All Stars Academy has a track record of making stars of players like Leon Bailey who also hails from Jamaica and Chelsea’s summer signing Omari Hutchinson. He gave a reason on why his client chose Chelsea, “They gave him the best offer, the best opportunities and they are looking forward to him being in the Chelsea colours.”.
While Richards also described his latest adventure on the social media, “What a dream come true. When I am 18 years old I will be able to play in the Premier League and for a club like Chelsea. [They are] Champions League winners and with such a high pedigree that I’m still so grateful to God for this opportunity to challenge other great talents on the colosseum of football.”
His Style of Play and Stats
Richards, who will be 18 in this year’s October already stands at a massive height of 6ft 4in. He is quick and despite Dujuan Richards relying on his left foot more is equally adept with playing with his right as well. A lot of academies in England would have already had a trailer of what is about to come on the English shores as he had played in a tournament consisting the likes of Manchester City, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Sheffield United in 2021.
Richards has had an amazing debut season with Phoenix All Stars Academy which is in the capital Kingston, scoring 31 goals and registering 19 assists. Here’s a small snippet of the youngster playing,
— Football Report (@FootballReprt) November 27, 2022
The 17-year-old picks up the ball from the halfway line and scores an absolute screamer of a goal. Now people might say this in Jamaica and the quality of defense is bad but Richards already scored similar goals on visits to England and if that is any indication of the talent, then Chelsea have a big player on their books. The way his development has been going we can expect to see Richards pretty soon in a blue shirt at the Premier League level.