Chelsea have agreed to sign a 13-year-old goalkeeper from France, discovered by the same man that unearthed Petr Cech.
In the Premier League, teams are always on the search for the next big superstar, and it seems Chelsea may have found one. Reports in France have announced that the London club has agreed to sign 13-year-old French goalkeeper Nicolas Tié from FC Poitiers.
The young teenager won’t join the side until 2017 when he turns 16 years old, but until then he will spend school holidays and his summer holidays at Chelsea’s Cobham training centre. This should help him develop his language skills, help with his integration into life as a Chelsea player, without tearing him away from his friends or family at such an early age.
Tié was spotted by the well-regarded French scout Guy Hillion, the same man who spotted now legendary Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, who signed from French club Rennes back in 2004. The first thing that would have attracted scouts, before a ball was even kicked would have been the size of the young goalkeeper. At just 13, he stands 185cm tall, this is before he finishes growing, and he could become an outstanding physical presence, like current Chelsea No. 1 Thibault Courtois.
Reports suggest that Chelsea were not the only club interested, with both Manchester City and Arsenal allegedly also keen on signing the teenager. No doubt there would also have been a few French clubs interested in the young talent, with Poitiers just south-west of Nantes, a club known for its development of excellent youth talent. That is also the same academy that developed Marcel Desailly, Didier Deschamps and Mickael Landreau – the goalkeeper with the most ever Ligue 1 appearances.
Portuguese goalkeeper Hilario will be tasked with keeping tabs on the development of Tié. At this early stage there is no guarantee that the young ‘keeper will make it as a professional footballer, but when you have three of England’s top teams clambering for your signature, you must have some level of talent already.
We won’t know for a few years if Tié has something special, but under the guidance of the Chelsea staff and the goalkeepers they already have, there is no doubt that he will have the best opportunity to make the most of his young promise.