Chelsea have completed the signing of young Swedish defender Ali Suljic, with the Motala AIF player turning down clubs like Arsenal to join the Blues' youth set-up, starting in the summer summer. With plenty of hype developing around the youngster in his native Sweden, talkSPORT's Talent Spotter has more information on the centreback...
Name: Ali Suljic
Birthplace: Ostergotland, Sweden
Club: Motala AIF
Position: Central defender
International: Member of Swedish U15 national team
Did you know?
1) Suljic is currently with Motala AIF, who play in the Ostergotland regional league in the Swedish third division. Motala hail from a town of the same name in the Southeast of Sweden.
2) Suljic visited Chelsea in November for a trial, playing 90 minutes for their U16 side in a 5-3 win over Brighton. He has cited the way Chelsea treated him during his time at the club as clinching his decision.
3) Though a Juventus supporter, Suljic has admitted he admires Chelsea stars David Luiz and Eden Hazard in particular. He is described as a modern central defender who is strong in the air and capable of brining the ball out from the back.
4) Before joining the club permanantely in the summer, Suljic will travel to Chelsea once a month to spend a week training and familiarising himself with the Blues youth set-up.
5) One Swedish source claims that Manchester City, Liverpool and, in particular, Arsenal were all hoping to convince Suljic to join their own academies before losing out to Chelsea.
“I've decided on Chelsea. Premier League clubs and some in Italy were interested. It's wonderful, but at the same time, feels unreal. The goal is to continue to develop. I think I can reach the first team, but first, the U21 team of course.”
“He is a complete defender. The greatest talent in the Swedish boys' team in years. I saw him play several internationals last year and he is in a class of his own.” Suljic's agent Patrick Mork.
Here's Suljic (number six) on duty with the Swedish U15 team against Finland...
Chelsea fans, are you happy to have landed this promising defender for your youth academy? Let us know below...