Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has warned young striker Armando Broja not to rest on his laurels following news that Southampton are keen to turn his loan stay into a permanent one.
In his 17 Premier League appearances – just nine have been starts – Broja has bagged five goals for the Saints, making him the highest-scoring player in the Premier League under 21 years old this season. He is also second on the all-time list of youngest players to score in their first three home starts in the division.
“He’s our player and he’s doing good, but at the same time it’s only half a season, so he needs to continue to improve and to make his statement at Southampton,” Tuchel said.
“We have a reason why they are our players, they have quality and mentality and now they are out there on their own in different environments and clubs and proving themselves.
“Armando’s getting better and better, he’s a very unique player with unique strengths in his game, he has speed, he’s robust and he’s a goalscorer. First of all, now is not the moment to discuss the summer, it’s the moment for him to stay calm and keep on improving.”
Tuchel’s words come shortly after a report from the Evening Standard claimed that Chelsea will make a decision on Broja’s future this week.
Southampton are waiting to hear whether Chelsea would be open to selling Broja permanently. It is thought that the Saints would have to pay at least £20m to land the Albania international and would also have to agree to a buy-back clause.
They have accepted those terms in the past as Tino Livramento’s £5m move from Chelsea to Southampton in the summer came with a £40m buy-back clause.
As far as Broja is concerned, the feeling is that he wants to be Chelsea’s striker but he does not want to wait around for opportunities and is open to extending his stay at Southampton if it means regular starts.