Chelsea have announced the signing of Ecuadorian gem Kendry Paez via their official website, with the Independiente del Valle teenager set to join the club once he turns 18.
Paez has emerged as one of the brightest young talents in world football, making his professional debut for his Ecuadorian club aged only 15, and also appearing in the Copa Libertadores for the side prior to his 16th birthday.
Chelsea have pursued the teenage sensation for months, with speculation rife over his joining them from his former club. Fabrizio Romano reported that the deal cost Chelsea around £17m, with the bulk of the sum to be paid as bonuses.
Despite his tender years, the 16-year-old Paez is known for his technical excellence, vision and quality on the ball. He will remain with his club until 2025 when he is eligible to move to the United Kingdom.
Chelsea news: Kendry Paez latest youngster to join club
Paez is highly-rated worldwide, having made history as the youngest scorer in the history of the Ecuadorian league. The 16-year-old starred for his country at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina, becoming the youngest-ever goalscorer in the history of the competition.
Chelsea Football Club has agreed a deal to sign teenage midfielder Kendry Paez from Independiente del Valle! ✍️
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) June 5, 2023
Chelsea have targeted young prospects under the new ownership, and Paez is arguably the biggest name to join the club given his reputation in South America and globally. The Blues also have Cesare Casadei, Gabriel Slonina and Andrey Santos, all of whom have impressed at the U-20 World Cup, on their books.
In terms of squad building, Chelsea’s new owners are ambitious as they have successfully brought a number of top talents to the club within their first year. The Blues will look forward to seeing Paez in their colours and follow his progress while in Ecuador. They will also look to sign his countryman Moises Caicedo this summer to strengthen their squad.