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Opinion: Crystal Palace may be about to help Southampton sign a ‘fantastic’ player

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It’s almost as if Chelsea haven’t learned their lesson. 

Last season, Marc Guehi became an England international after a terrific campaign at Crystal Palace. Tino Livramento emerged as one of the Premier League’s breakthrough stars in the red and white of Southampton. Fikayo Tomori was the rock at the heart of AC Milan’s Serie A-winning backline. And Tammy Abraham scored 27 goals as Jose Mourinho guided Roma to their first European title in 60 years. 

But if Chelsea supporters were hoping for a change of tack in the transfer market – and more faith to be placed in the club’s next generation of academy graduates – it seems they will be disappointed.  

Armando Broja is pushing for a potential £30 million move to West Ham United, apparently unconvinced that regular first-team opportunities will come his way under Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge. 

The Athletic, meanwhile, claims that Levi Colwill will look to follow Broja out the door if Chelsea bring in yet more central defenders following Kalidou Koulibaly’s arrival from Napoli. A £47 million bid for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde (Goal) – and interest in Manchester City’s Nathan Ake – suggests that Colwill’s warning is set to go un-heeded. 

Levi Colwill eyeing Chelsea exit after Koulibaly arrival

After a superb loan spell at Huddersfield Town – the England U21 international helped transform the Terriers from relegation candidates to promotion challengers during his first ever season of senior football – Colwill finds himself in a position of strength. 

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Like Guehi, Livramento and Broja, he knows that, if he does decide to seek a fresh start away from Stamford Bridge, a tsunami of offers will soon come flooding in. 

“When people like that come in, he’s a young player and you question is he going to perform?” Colwill’s former Huddersfield team-mate Lewis O’Brien tells Yorkshire Live.    

“But he has stepped into the Championship unbelievably well. I’m sure he’s got a fantastic career ahead of him at the highest level.” 

Is Southampton the perfect club for the England U21 ace?

At this stage, however, even if Crystal Palace appear increasingly unlikely to raid their London neighbours for a second summer in succession. Per Sky Germany, Chris Richards is on his way to Selhurst Park from Bayern Munich. The £13 million-rated America international has a ‘verbal agreement’ with Palace, and wants to play under Patrick Vieira. 

But just because Crystal Palace appear to be bowing of the race, that does not mean there are not still multiple candidates jostling for pole position. According to The Mail, Leicester City, Arsenal and Everton are all interested in Colwill. The Frank Lampard connection can only enhance The Toffees’ prospects. 

Southampton, meanwhile, feel like a very realistic – and very sensible – destination. Especially considering the strides Livramento and Broja both made at St Mary’s. Dynel Simeu, a former captain of Chelsea’s youth teams, also swapped West London for the South Coast last month. What’s more, Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl appears to be in the market for a talented young centre-half. One capable of replacing the exit-linked and error-prone Jan Bednarek.

Colwill ticks pretty much every box for a club who’s penchant for signing talented, up-and-coming youngsters and helping them realise their potential is almost legendary at this stage.

Colwill might not have a future at Chelsea. But he won’t have to wait long for other opportunities to prevent themselves.

Photo by Jon Hobley /MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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