US Men’s National Team and New York Red Bulls defender Matt Miazga is set to join Chelsea, according to a report by Jeff Carlisle at ESPN FC.
The Daily Mail reports that Chelsea will pay £3.5 million or $5 million for the 20 year old defender. It was reported that scouts from Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City were told about him because his Polish passport meant that getting a UK work permit would be a lot easier to obtain.
Miazga has been playing in the U.S. Soccer youth system for the past three years, playing for the U18, U20 and U23 teams. Last November, Miazga got his first senior team cap against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in a World Cup Qualifier.
Miazga also exploded on the scene in MLS with the Red Bulls. After only earning one appearance and nine appearances in 2013 and 2014, respectively, Miazga earned 32 in 2015 as a regular starter and helped the Red Bulls earn the MLS Supporters Shield.
Miazga will be a great case study in terms of future young Americans being developed through MLS and wanting to go to Europe for the next step of their career. After Stanford star Jordan Morris turned down an offer from Werder Bremen to stay in the United States with the Seattle Sounders, Miazga is taking the opposite approach.
The deal itself looks like the best for all parties. Chelsea is paying $5 million which, for an EPL team, is not really that much. For an MLS team, getting $5 million for one of your players is huge. Even if MLS takes 25% of that, $3.75 million is still a great return on investment. If it wasn’t for the extreme difficulties in obtaining work permits and difficulties in negotiating with both the league and the team in MLS, a lot more European teams would probably look at MLS for great talent that is very affordable.
As far as Miazga is concerned, he’s going to be a Chelsea player but who knows if he’ll actually play for Chelsea. In recent years, Chelsea has been stockpiling talent like a doomsday prepper stockpiling food for the apocalypse. They then loan all of these players out to give them playing time elsewhere and develop for profit or a place on the team. Now that there will be a new Chelsea manager next season, who knows if he will stick to this strategy. But if that is the case, it’ll mean Matt Miazga will get playing time somewhere, but it likely won’t be at Stamford Bridge.