sport news Why Chelsea are spending £20m on England U19 star Carney Chukwuemeka trends now
Chelsea stole a march on a host of European rivals on Monday by agreeing a £20million fee with Aston Villa for highly-rated teenager Carney Chukwuemeka.
Thomas Tuchel has been itching to bolster his midfield ahead of the Premier League season getting underway and the youngster is ready to become his latest recruit.
The Blues have already added Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina to their squad this summer, and Chukwuemeka is now set to follow them through the door at Stamford Bridge.
Sportsmail have taken a look at what the 18-year-old could offer Chelsea this season, highlighting what he has achieved in his fledgling career to date, why he has attracted interest from some of Europe's biggest clubs, and whether he can realistically break into Tuchel's starting XI in the near future.
Carney Chukwuemeka is set to join Chelsea from Aston Villa in a deal worth £20million
Who is Chukwuemeka and what has he accomplished so far?
Chukwuemeka was born in the small Austrian city of Eisenstadt in October 2003 to Nigerian parents before moving to England, where he was raised in Northampton.
As a result, he is eligible to represent three countries, but he has elected to play for England at youth level, and he has already caught the eye for the Under-19s.
In just 11 appearances for the team, he has scored five times, and he was a standout performer at this summer's Under-19 European Championships.
He netted in England's opening two games of the tournament against Austria and Serbia before being handed the captain's armband for the final group match against Israel.
England went on to play Israel again in the final, and Chukwuemeka scored his third goal of the tournament in extra-time to seal a 3-1 victory and the trophy.
Chukwuemeka played a pivotal role in England Under-19s European Championship campaign
Chukwuemeka scored in the European Championship final against Israel this summer
England went on to win the final 3-1 as Chukwuemeka (right) helped them to European glory
He was subsequently named in the Team of the Tournament, capping a remarkable fortnight for the youngster.
Meanwhile, Villa have known about his talent for some time. Having initially come through Northampton's academy, he joined the Villains as a 12-year-old in 2016.
Chukwuemeka went on to play a significant role in Villa's FA Youth Cup win in 2020-21 before making his top flight debut as a late substitute at Tottenham in May 2021.
His first Premier League start followed in the early weeks of the 2021-22 campaign as Dean Smith named him in his starting line-up against Brentford last August.
Chukwuemeka made 11 further league appearances last term, and was regularly called up to the team's matchday squad.
Is Chukwuemeka leaving Villa on good terms?
It doesn't seem that way, no.
With his contract due to expire next year, Chukwuemeka had been offered a new deal to extend, and at one stage Steven Gerrard was hopeful of convincing him to stay.
'We want him to stay here long-term. We believe this is the best place for Carney. I hope that situation progresses in a positive way,' Gerrard told reporters in May.