Exclusive: Why Chelsea January signing chose them over Liverpool & Manchester United

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Chelsea have made a smart signing in the form of Benoit Badiashile, who has really impressed since his January transfer from Monaco to Stamford Bridge.

The 21-year-old looked a promising talent during his time in Ligue 1, but French football expert Jonathan Johnson still seemed surprised by quite how well he’s settled in at Chelsea.

Writing in his exclusive CaughtOffside column, Johnson heaped praise onto Badiashile, and gave some insight into why the France international ended up being tempted by the Chelsea project despite some links with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United as well.

Although it’s not entirely clear how strong their interest was in comparison to Chelsea, Ben Jacobs recently mentioned Liverpool’s interest in his CaughtOffside column, but Johnson says the player was won over by the Blues project, which is built around talented young players and a long-term vision, with the added bonus of the security of long-term contracts.

“Benoit Badiashile has really impressed me with the way he’s started at Chelsea,” Johnson wrote. “He’s performed really well when he’s played but it’s not been the perfect start at Chelsea because I don’t think he’ll have expected not to be part of their Champions League squad, which can only contain three signings made in the middle of the season.

Benoit Badiashile in action for Chelsea

“Personally I think that might have been a bit short-sighted by Chelsea, but of course they’re now into the quarter-finals so let’s wait and see how Graham Potter fares in the competition. It wouldn’t have been easy leaving out Joao Felix, Mykhaylo Mudryk or Enzo Fernandez either, but I do think Badiashile would have been a valuable addition to the squad.

“In terms of links with other Premier League clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United, I think Chelsea’s focus on recruiting some of the best young talents in Europe at the moment for a project that will be medium to long term at the very least, I think that proved very attractive to Badiashile. Chelsea are also offering famously long contracts to their players in order to make the overall transfer value a bit lower.

“So I think Badiashile was won over by Chelsea and he’s proven a shrewd piece of business. He still looked like he had room for improvement at Monaco, but he’s progressing well and I think he’s going to be an influential player for them for a long time.”

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