Southampton have signed 19-year-old striker Armando Broja on loan from Chelsea for the 2020/21 season.
Broja, who has been at Chelsea since he was nine years old, scored 11 goals in 34 appearances while on loan at Dutch side Vitesse last season.
He signed a new five-year contract after returning to Stamford Bridge this summer and scored for the Blues in pre-season games against Peterborough and Bournemouth.
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl believes St Mary’s Stadium is the ideal place for Broja to continue his progress, telling the club’s website: “Armando is a very talented player who we were impressed by last season.
“He is young but he comes now with a full season of experience in senior football with a good team and he brings a lot of qualities that can help us.
“He is a strong, quick player with a good instinct and this makes him a good fit for the way we like to play.
“I know how highly regarded he is by Chelsea and I think this will be a good place for him to continue his own development as well.”
Broja expressed his excitement at being handed the opportunity to make his mark in the Premier League, telling Southampton’s website: “I feel very happy.
“I was really excited to join Southampton. It’s obviously a very good Premier League club.
“They’ve got a good history and they play in the best league in the world, so it’s amazing for a young player to experience it, be in and around a Premier League team and learn and develop from the older players, the staff and everyone here. It’s a very good opportunity.”
Broja has just one Chelsea appearance to his name, with his debut coming in their 4-0 Premier League win over Everton in March 2020.
The striker was born in England but plays international football for Albania and currently has six caps to his name.
He becomes the second youngster to join Southampton from Chelsea this summer after right-back Valentino Livramento moved to St Mary’s on a permanent deal.
The Saints have been keen to strengthen their attacking options after selling last season’s top scorer Danny Ings to Aston Villa last week.
As well as signing Broja, Blackburn striker Adam Armstrong is also set to join the club and is expected to undergo a medical on Tuesday.
Chelsea are also set to bolster their frontline with the return of Romelu Lukaku in a club-record £97.5m deal with Inter Milan.
By Adam Bate
His Belgium national team coach Roberto Martinez was among those to suggest there has been an evolution in Romelu Lukaku’s game and one statistic highlights it best. Nobody in Italy provided more assists from open play than Lukaku did for Inter last season.
It is a statistic still viewed with scepticism by some and it is true that Lukaku’s tally of 11 included a number of straightforward square passes and lay-offs. But other goals highlight the awareness, intelligence, vision and touch that carried Inter to the title.
The threaded ball on the turn, directed between two defenders, for Lautaro Martinez’s equaliser against Crotone was the sort of measured pass more often associated with a playmaker supreme. His cross for Martinez’s goal against AC Milan was that of a winger.
His assist in the win over Lazio in February was very different. That featured a driving run from deep, outpacing one defender and drawing another towards him before slipping the ball right-footed to his strike partner Martinez to stroke into the net unmarked.
There have been 64 goals of his own in his two seasons in Italy. That has become a given from a player who has now netted over 300 times in his career. What is so interesting is that as well as scoring all types of goals, Lukaku is now assisting all types of goals too.
It is a level of performance that has persuaded Chelsea to bring him back to Stamford Bridge one decade on from signing his first contract at the club. Lukaku, 28, returns at the peak of his powers, never better prepared to make a big impact on the Premier League.
Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports
You can follow all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms, as well as keeping track of all the developments on Sky Sports News.
New series: Football’s Cult Heroes
Football’s Cult Heroes is a brand new podcast series exploring the stories of the players that carried their clubs on their backs – on and off the pitch.
Told by the players, fans and journalists that were there, we delve into why these players created such a strong bond with their fans and how they are still remembered years on.
Follow on Spotify so you can listen to the weekly episodes as soon as they drop.