Chelsea have confirmed the £26.3m signing of Lyon right-back Malo Gusto, who will remain at the French club on loan for the rest of the season.
The highly-rated 19-year-old has penned a deal at Stamford Bridge lasting until 2030, joining the likes of Myhaylo Mudryk and Benoit Badiashile on long-term contracts.
Gusto is a player touted to have huge potential and will provide some excellent cover for Reece James next season.
Chelsea have struggled to find consistent form this season, currently finding themselves in tenth place in the league table after winning just eight of their 20 opening matches.
As a result, Todd Boehly has invested massively in the squad this January, bringing in Joao Felix (loan), Mudryk, David Datro Fofana, Andrey Santos, Badiashile, Noni Madueke and now Gusto.
In fact, Chelsea have spent more than all the teams in LaLiga, Serie A, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 combined this month, raising questions over financial fair play regulations.
The recruitments could prove to play a big role in Chelsea’s season though, who currently have a 10-point gap to close on the top four.
Football365 reported on Friday that the Frenchman was due to arrive in London for his medical after Chelsea agreed a fee with Lyon.
Gasto has now completed his medical, along with his media duties, declaring he is very happy to make the switch to West London.
On the official Chelsea Twitter page, he said;
“I like the city and I’m really happy to come here.
“I play right-back. I am a fast player, a crosser and box-to-box.
“I chose Chelsea because it’s a very big club and I like the project. I’m very happy to be here.”
The defender has gained a reputation as one of the most exciting young players in Europe after becoming a regular starter for Lyon, hence why they struck an agreement to keep him at the club until the end of the campaign.
Gusto has spent his entire career at Lyon, gradually rising through the ranks before solidifying his spot in the starting XI last season.
Overall, the right-back has featured 62 times for the Ligue 1 giants, scoring one goal and making six assists so far.
He is defensively solid, quick and skilful on the ball, with the ability to get up and down the line and deliver dangerous balls into the box.
Gusto is also versatile and can play as a right-back, centre-back or even as a right midfielder on occasion, so he will provide cover in several areas for Potter in the future.
He is also highly valued by his national team, making his France under-21s debut last year.
Gusto has been on Chelsea’s radar for some time, first being linked with him back in November, while Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is also reportedly a big fan of his.
However, he will have to wait until next season for his debut, when he will likely become James’ main competition at full-back, given Cesar Azpilicueta is expected to leave Stamford Bridge next summer.
Indeed, the decision to loan the Frenchman straight back to Lyon while James is currently injured has come under some scrutiny. But, Potter must believe that his development is best served by staying in Ligue 1 for now.