Chelsea’s Charly Musonda looks like he could do a fine job for… well, Chelsea.
The attacking midfielder is currently on loan at Spanish side Real Betis but, by the looks of things, Chelsea made the wrong decision in letting him leave.
After excelling in his debut last weekend against Valencia, Musonda kept up his good form in Betis’ 2-2 draw against Deportivo on Saturday.
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The Belgian trickster scored Betis’ first goal and provided a constant threat throughout in a performance that drew comparisons with Brazilian star Neymar by some Chelsea fans.
Check out Musonda’s highlights from Saturday’s game below.
Perhaps what is most impressing about Musonda’s ability - aside from the trickery and pace - is the confidence he exudes. He’s only 19-years-old and moved to Spain just over a fortnight ago, yet his first thought is always to take on the defender.
Musonda joined Chelsea from Anderlecht in 2012 but has found first-team opportunities limited. He was loaned to Betis after the youngster and interim boss Guus Hiddink decided a loan deal would be the best for Musonda’s development.
Lack of opportunities
Despite winning the Under-21 Premier League, UEFA Youth League and FA Youth Cup, Musonda, like many Chelsea youth players, has been unable to break into the first team under Hiddink or previous manager Jose Mourinho.
Musonda is one of a few Chelsea loanees who appears to have a long-term future at the club. His versatility - he can play on either flank or through the middle - makes him a very worthy player and he has enormous potential.
Betis have the option to extend Musonda’s loan deal, which expires in the summer, and no doubt Chelsea will be excited to see how much he has developed upon his eventual return to Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard recently told Le Parisian (as reported by the Guardian) that it would be difficult to turn down a possible move to Paris Saint-Germain, and it’s easy to envisage Musonda returning in the summer should Hazard move on.
Last month he was afforded the opportunity to train with the first team after Hiddink watched Musonda impress in a behind-closed-doors friendly against QPR.
He ultimate failed to play any minutes under Hiddink but Chelsea’s loss is Betis’ gain. The La Liga side have picked up four points from six since Musonda’s arrival - as many points as they had earned in their previous 11 league matches.
Musonda’s fine performances leave Chelsea in a catch-22. They can recall him at the end of the season with the view of implementing him into the first team or he can stay in Spain for another season and continue to improve.
Bringing him back doesn’t guarantee Musonda will actually play, however. Chelsea will appoint a new manager in the summer and it can’t be said for certain that the attacking midfielder will be part of the new regime.
If that proves to be the case then Musonda will be shipped out on loan once again - a move that is unlikely to please the player, who has already expressed his disappointment at a lack of first-team opportunities at Chelsea.
The Blues have to manage Musonda’s development carefully or risk ruining his potential.