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Chelsea close in on Irish speedster Deji Sotona


Deji Sotona could be set for a Premier League return.

The Telegraph are reporting that Waterford winger Deji Sotona is on Chelsea’s transfer list and could join the Blues this January.

Sotona, 19, is currently on the books of Nice in France’s Ligue 1, having left Manchester United in 2020.

The teenager made headlines two years ago when he recorded the fastest time in Manchester United’s speed test, outdoing the likes of Marcus Rashford and Daniel James.

Chelsea were keen on securing his services during the Summer but a deal fell through at a late stage.


Deji Sotona

19-year-old Sotona was born in Waterford and grew up in Mullingar, but also qualifies for England and Nigeria. Ireland is the only country he has represented to date however, as he togged out for the Boys in Green at under-16 level.

The left-winger, who can also play up front, made a big impression for Manchester United’s under-18 side in 2019 and was later promoted to their under-23s bench.

The standard of Sotona’s displays attracted interest from a whole host of European clubs which contributed to his decision to depart Old Trafford in September 2020.

Sotona was offered a new deal by the Premier League giants at the time, but their offer failed to meet his five-figure demands.

OGC Nice swooped in and the opportunity for Sotona to train under the guidance of Patrick Vieira proved one of the deciding factors.

Over a year has passed since and although the Ireland underage international has failed to make a first team appearance, his stock appears to have remained in tact.

Chelsea are the front runners for his signature but Thomas Tuchel’s side will face competition from London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Celtic.

It will be interesting to see where Sotona’s career goes from here. Perhaps an Ireland under-21 call-up is around the corner.

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