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Chelsea keen on signing Athletic Bilbao forward Nico Williams

Nico Williams

Chelsea are determined to pull ahead in the race to sign talented 21-year-old Spanish forward Nico Williams from Athletic Bilbao, according to Spanish publication Fichajes.

Williams, the younger of two brothers who are tearing it apart for Bilbao in La Liga this season, has been continually linked with an exit ahead of next season. One of the clubs who seem keen on signing the talented winger is Chelsea.

The 21-year-old has been ever-present for the impressive Ernesto Valverde’s side this season, playing a vital role in their domestic cup win. Williams has played 30 matches, scoring six goals and providing 14 assists.

Fichajes claims that the Blues are ‘determined’ to fend off competition to sign Williams this summer and are willing to spend £43 million to get a deal done for the talented forward.

Comfortable playing both on the left and the right-wing, Williams uses his immense pace and skill to get past defenders and has a keen eye to find the final pass. He is decent at finding the back of the net too, so he’d be an exciting signing for Chelsea.

Too similar to Madueke?

Although Nico Williams is a top-class talent, Chelsea must remember that they have the impressive Noni Madueke playing on the wings. The English youngster has done nothing wrong in the opportunities afforded to him and questions actually need to be asked of Mauricio Pochettino for not playing Madueke enough this season.

Stylistically, Williams is quite similar to Madueke and plays in the same positions as well. Whilst there is a certain advantage that would arise from playing two pacey wingers on either side, like Mbappe and Dembele at PSG, Luis Enrique will be the first person to tell you that there are certain disadvantages with this approach.

In the Premier League where teams have started closing gaps more and more, it is essential to have players that can complement each other on either wing. For example, having a Palmer on one wing and one of Williams/Madueke on the other would give the Blues variety in attack.

Whilst signing Nico Williams will not be a bad deal for Chelsea, they must be careful not to overpay for him. Depending on the games, Pochettino or the next Chelsea manager can choose to play the Spaniard and Madueke on either wing and Palmer through the middle or rotate the duo depending on the opponents.

Let’s wait and see if we can get this deal over the line in the summer.

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