U20 FIFA World Cup: Here’s a look at Chelsea FC’s new prodigy

Mauricio Pochettino is set to take a look at Cesare Casadei during pre-season at Chelsea after the Italian’s stunning Under-20 World Cup campaign.
The Italian Lampard (Image- Getty Images)
The Italian Lampard (Image- Getty Images)

You may want to familiarise yourself with Italian and Chelsea wonderkid Cesare Casadei as he continues to light up the U20 FIFA World Cup in Argentina.

The highly-rated central midfielder has been tearing it up for Carmine Nunziata's side at this summer's tournament, notching seven goals and two assists in six games for the young Azzurri. And now has won the Player of the tournament and Golden boot as the top scorer.

Well, the 20-year-old scored seven goals at the Under-20 World Cup as Italy lost 1-0 to Uruguay in the final, winning himself the Golden Boot and also the Player of the Tournament award.

Previously, the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Erling Haaland have won the Under-20 World Cup Golden Boot.

While Casadei will have been disappointed to lose the final, his efforts have not gone unnoticed at Stamford Bridge.

Chances of playing for Chelsea next season?

The Evening Standard believe the Italy Under-20 international has caught the eye of Pochettino, and the Argentine is set to have a look at him during pre-season.

The likes of N'Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount all look set to leave, while Denis Zakaria has already returned to Juventus after his loan spell ended.

Replacing this amount of depth will cost Chelsea millions, so it would make sense for Pochettino to put his faith in talents such as Carney Chukwuemeka and Casadei.

Casadei, who spent the second half of this season on loan at Championship side Reading, is the complete package. He is not only composed in possession, but regularly takes up positions in the final third.

Some have even compared him to a prime Frank Lampard. In fact, the 20-year-old recently hailed Lampard as better than Steven Gerrard, Andres Iniesta and Toni Kroos in the below video.

If his U20 FIFA World Cup performances are anything to go by, Casadei could soon be given the chance to emulate one of Chelsea's greatest players at Stamford Bridge.

The 20-year-old, a standout performer for Inter Milan throughout the 2021/22 campaign, signed a six-year contract with Chelsea last summer in a deal worth a reported £12.6m plus £4.2m in potential future add-ons.

Neil Bath, the club's head of youth development, was delighted with the arrival.

Cesare is a player we have tracked for some time and we are delighted he has now agreed to join Chelsea, where he will initially strengthen our U21s squad," he said.

"He is another exciting emerging talent who we are looking forward to seeing develop and progress further as he breaks into senior football in the coming years."

Incoming manager Mauricio Pochettino was provided with another reminder of Casadei's talents in Italy's 2-1 win over South Korea, when the midfielder scored the opener during Thursday's semi-final clash.

Casadei is already Italy's all-time leading scorer at the U20 FIFA World Cup, with his performances being crucial in their route to the final.

Here's how fans on social media have reacted to his recent displays.

One said: "Cesare Casadei putting in one of the greatest tournaments at youth level in international history. He's destroying this Under-20 World Cup," while another wrote: "It's unbelievable what he is doing. Playing like a man amongst boys."

A third commented: "If you have Cesare Casadei in your team, just get him in the box and aim your crosses and cutbacks toward him. He'll outjump defenders, win knockdowns, sniff out second balls, arrive into areas and finish first-time better than a lot of out-and-out strikers.

What position does Cesare Casadei play in?

Casadei is a central midfielder.

How good is Cesare Casadei?

Casadei is the latest in a golden generation of central midfielders to come through the Italian system.

At Euro 2020 the brilliant trio of Marco Verratti, Jorginho and Nicolo Barella led Italy to glory and behind them is an abundance of incredibly talented and young centre midfielders such as Sandro Tonali, Manuel Locatelli and Davide Frattesi.

Among the group of teenage Italian midfielders who have been tipped for the top is Casadei, who has been making waves with Inter.

The Nerazzurri signed Casadei as a 15-year-old from Cesena and he soon emerged as one of their most exciting players of a generation.

Cesare Casadei playing for Inter Milan (Image- Football Transfers)

The 19-year-old is a versatile central midfielder who is able to cover multiple roles in the centre of the park.

His favoured role is as a mezz'ala, which is the right or left of a three-man central midfield. But he can also play as a central midfielder in a two, as a trequartista (an attacking midfielder) or in a wide midfield role if required.

After moving to Chelsea and playing for PL2, he was allowed a loan move to Reading in the Championship.

Casadei has given an honest reflection on his time in the Championship, where he made 15 appearances in the second half of the season.

He said: "I think I've made progress, I've improved in any aspect in the last year.

"I put all I have in training, I often speak to my coaches asking them what I can add.

"I've found a different reality in the Championship, going from the youth sector to the first team is a big step, it's not easy but it makes you improve.

"I was lucky between Inter and Chelsea, I shared the dressing room with many champions and I try to learn from anyone."

How old is Casadei?

Casadei was born on 10 January, 2003. He is 20.

What is Casadei's height?

Casadei is 186cm, or around 6ft 1in.

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