Chelsea are reportedly ready to spend £30 million (€33.6 million) on Fulham youngster Luke Harris, who scored a hat-trick against the U21 team earlier this year.
Todd Boehly has exercised his influence without delay since succeeding Roman Abramovich as owner of Chelsea in May. He has overhauled the club’s backroom and spent almost €300 million in the transfer market.
While he has made arrivals such as Raheem Sterling, Wesley Fofana and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, of which he has spent €38 million on teenagers Carney Chukwuemeka and Gabriel Slonina, who arrived from Aston Villa and Chicago Fire respectively.
Harris could be the next young player Chelsea buy under Boehly’s ‘Vision 2030′ strategy.
The 17-year-old from Jersey represents Wales at international level and is the Wales under-19 national team captain, but it would be a short journey from Craven Cottage to Stamford Bridge.
Which position does Harris play in?
Although many have reported that he is a striker since he scored a hat-trick for Fulham against Chelsea in August when the U21 teams met, Harris is in fact a central striker who is usually found in central midfield, but he also likes to mix in from the left.
He’s small now, but still growing, using his quick feet to get out of tight spaces and his quick thinking to redirect balls to more attacking teammates.
How good is Harris?
Harris is currently on national duty with Wales, where he will have his first game as captain, possibly against Poland on Sunday. Fulham gave him his first professional contract earlier this month, after which manager Marco Silva promised him minutes.
“He will get games,” said the Portuguese tactician. “He will sit on the bench, he will get some minutes. We have to be patient with him and not put pressure on him.”
Harris may not have to wait too long to play. He also has an ability to make late inroads into the box – which is why he scored 28 goals in 38 games at youth level – and Chelsea hope to have discovered a player who is stylistically somewhere between Frank Lampard and Joe Cole.
Which clubs are interested in Harris?
Harris’ first hat-trick at youth level was scored in February against Newcastle in Premier League 2 and he has been followed by most of English football ever since. But for now, he is loyal to Fulham.
“I am very happy to extend my stay at Fulham, where I have been since a young age,” he said recently.
Chelsea may also face competition from Liverpool for his services, as the Reds have already plucked Harvey Elliot and Fabio Carvalho from Fulham’s youth academy in recent seasons.
When does Harris’ contract expire?
The professional contract that Harris recently signed ties him to Fulham until 30 June 2025.
How old is Harris?
Harris was born on 3 April 2005 and is 17 years old at the time of writing. He shares a birth date with Arsenal’s Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus.
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