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Chelsea 'among clubs interested in Gent's Archie Brown'

Chelsea 'among clubs interested in Gent's Archie Brown'
© Reuters
Chelsea are reportedly keeping a close eye on 21-year-old Gent left-back Archie Brown, who is also attracting interest from West Ham United.

Chelsea are among the clubs running the rule over Gent left-back Archie Brown, according to a report.

The Birmingham-born 21-year-old plied his trade in the youth system of Derby County, but he failed to make a single senior appearance for the Rams and joined Swiss outfit Lausanne Sport on a free transfer in 2021.

Brown's debut season in Switzerland was a forgettable one, but after directly contributing to nine goals in the 2022-23 Challenge League, he earned a £3.4m move to Belgian side Gent last summer.

The defender's stock has continued to rise since his latest transfer, as he has provided two assists in 19 Jupiler Pro League games this season and started five of their Europa Conference League matches, as Gent lost to Maccabi Haifa in the knockout round playoffs.

A physically imposing defender at nearly 6ft 3in tall, Brown has also been used in a central defensive role for Gent, as well as his favoured position on the left, either in a full-back or wing-back role.

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino on February 12, 2024© Reuters

Brown, who is eligible to represent Jamaica at senior level, is not due to become a free agent until 2027, but Gent are apparently braced to receive numerous offers once the season is over.

According to the Evening Standard, Chelsea are one of the teams hoping to strike a deal for the left-back, but the Blues are facing intense competition both from the UK and abroad.

West Ham United, Juventus, Nice, Lyon and AC Milan are also rumoured to be keeping tabs on Brown, who could supposedly be available for a modest £15m ahead of the 2024-25 campaign.

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has settled on Ben Chilwell as his first-choice left-back in recent weeks, but the former Leicester City man has been consistently plagued by injuries since joining the Blues.

Backup option Marc Cucurella has also not played since December due to an ankle concern, but even when fit, the Spaniard has struggled to replicate the form which made him a hit at Brighton & Hove Albion.

Chelsea's Levi Colwill celebrates after the match on August 25, 2023© Reuters

During Cucurella and Chilwell's absences, Levi Colwill would often be shoe-horned into a left-back role, but the 20-year-old is far more comfortable in a central defensive position and may be the subject of bids from Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool this summer.

Chelsea are expected to reject any official offers for Colwill in the upcoming transfer window, but the Blues may have no choice but to consider selling some of their academy products due to Financial Fair Play rules.

Two such left-backs - Ian Maatsen and Lewis Hall - could both make their respective loan moves to Borussia Dortmund and Newcastle United permanent at the end of the season, further weakening Chelsea's options on the left-hand side.

Former Blues left-back Emerson Palmieri is the current first-choice at West Ham over Aaron Cresswell, who has made just four Premier League appearances in 2023-24 and is out of contract in June.

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Chelsea's Levi Colwill celebrates after the match on August 25, 2023
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