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Chelsea 'join race to sign Japanese wonderkid'

Chelsea 'join race to sign Japanese wonderkid'
© Reuters
Chelsea are reportedly in the race to sign Japanese youngster Keisuke Goto, with West Ham United, Sevilla, Feyenoord and Ajax also keen on the 18-year-old.

Chelsea have reportedly joined the race to sign Japanese youngster Keisuke Goto, with the player also attracting interest from elsewhere across Europe.

The 18-year-old currently plays for Jubilo Iwata in J League 2, having made his first-team debut in February during a 3-2 loss against Fagiano Okayama.

Goto managed to net a brace on that day, and has scored five times overall for Iwata in 20 league appearances to date, meaning that only Ryo Germain and Dudu are ahead of him in the club's goalscoring charts.

The striker would have featured for Japan at the Under-20 World Championships, however he suffered an injury before the tournament which ruled him out of contention for game time.

Chelsea's new manager Mauricio Pochettino poses with a scarf in the pitch after the press conference on July 7, 2023© Reuters

According to reports in Japan, as per the Daily Mail, Chelsea are in the race to secure Goto's services, with the West Londoners viewing the youngster as someone who could adapt well to the English game.

The report claims that there is further interest in the forward from across the English capital, with Europa Conference League champions West Ham United keeping tabs on the player.

Sevilla, Ajax and Feyenoord are also said to be admirers of the 18-year-old, meaning that the Blues could have quite the battle on their hands in bringing Goto to Stamford Bridge.

It is understood that Mauricio Pochettino's side would loan out the striker to one of their partner clubs in order for the player to gain experience of playing regularly in Europe.

Santos' Angelo Gabriel in action in June 2022© Reuters

On a similar note, Chelsea announced the signing of teenager Angelo Gabriel from Santos last week, with the Brazilian now expected to be loaned out to Ligue 1 outfit Strasbourg for the 2022-23 term.

It is believed that the Stamford Bridge club beat La Liga champions Barcelona to the signing of the highly-rated winger, who scored five times in 129 matches for the Peixe.

The West Londoners are used to having a host of young faces leave either permanently or on loan deal, however this summer has seen an unprecedented amount of first-team players depart as the club look to trim down their bloated squad.

Kalidou Koulibaly, N'Golo Kante and Edouard Mendy have all secured moves to the Saudi Pro League, while academy graduates Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have made switches to Manchester United and AC Milan respectively.

With the arrivals of attackers Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson, it is extremely unlikely that Goto would be part of Pochettino's plans immediately, although the youngster could prove to be the solution to Chelsea's forward issues in the future.

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Santos' Angelo Gabriel in action in June 2022
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