Over the next two seasons, France boss Didier Deschamps has a very difficult decision to make: who should partner Raphael Varane at Euro 2016. According to Portuguese site A Bola, Chelsea is interested in one of the candidates, Aymeric Laporte and the 20-year-old, if he makes the move to Stamford Bridge, could be on the brink of becoming a France and Chelsea hero.
Athletic Bilbao’s Laporte is still only 20 years old, but the defender has played nearly 60 games over three seasons. When you watch his performances, he looks like he could have made around 600 appearances for club and country.
Assured on the ball, controlled, good in the air, he is everything you want from a centre-back.
Most countries would have already fast-tracked him to the first-team, but Laporte is still paying his dues at international level, playing for each age-group from the Under-17 to the Under-21 side. It will only be a matter of time before Deschamps takes him to the full squad, once he has completed his apprenticeship at Les Espoirs.
It was Jose Mourinho who signed Varane from French side Lens, and he has been linked with a move to Chelsea in the past, but with a €40 million release clause in his contract, Laporte may be the cheaper option.
The future for France looks bright when this duo finally gets the chance to blossom together. Mourinho reportedly fancies Laporte to be the long-term replacement for current club legend John Terry.
Although still young, Laporte’s displays already show a certain amount of maturity, something that would help him make the jump to Chelsea’s first-team in no time. It may seem like a lot of money for someone still playing at Under-21 level, but for those that have watched him, there is little doubt that Laporte is the real deal.
Expect Laporte to line up next to Varane when France hosts the 2016 European Championships. If Mourinho is serious in bringing him to Stamford Bridge, you can also expect the defender to be a first-team member of Chelsea when he takes his place at the tournament.