Chelsea are reportedly keeping tabs on the development of Montreal Impact winger Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla under the recommendation of club great Didier Drogba.
Tabla, 18, has come through the youth system in the Impact ranks, and he had trained alongside Drogba during the Ivorian’s one-year stay with the Canadian outfit. The youngster opened his goalscoring account on his debut last April, and he has since managed 17 appearances for Impact, who are placed eighth in the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer.
Antonio Conte’s Chelsea have complete the signing of the likes of Willy Caballero, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger and Alvaro Morata this summer, but their transfer window is unlikely to end with Conte looking to add a couple of options in the attack. Tabla has been called up to feature for the Canadian national squad, but he has yet to make him debut for the North American as he mulls between them and his native Ivory Coast.
Drogba proved to be a commanding presence for the Blues during his stay, and the veteran will no doubt have seen similar traits in the teenager, who is regarded as one of the best upcoming talents in Major League Soccer. Chelsea are no strangers to buying players from the American division after having recruited Matt Miazga from New York Red Bulls – only to be loaned out to be loaned out to feeder club Vitesse Arnhem.
The Blues won their first pre-season friendly outdoors by a comfortable 3-0 scoreline against Arsenal in Beijing, but they are unlikely to be carried away with games versus Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in Singapore to come. Following their Asian tour, the Premier League holders will take on London rivals Arsenal once again when they entertain them in the Community Shield on August 6. Chelsea lost out to the Gunners in the FA Cup final last term, and they will look to avenge the defeat in their competitive appearance of the new season.