If reports in England are to be believed, Chelsea is reportedly closing in on the signing of Derby County wonder-kid Max Bird. The move could be completed in a £4.8m deal. It has been reported for quite some time now that the Blues were looking to bring the 19-year-old to Stamford Bridge. The move could happen in the summer with boss Frank Lampard believed to be a huge fan of the starlet.
The Derbyshire-based club boasts one of the best academies in English football. It has produced some incredible talents over the years. And, the latest Derby County youngster to have made quite an impression for himself is Max Bird. It is claimed that Lampard is keen on signing the 19-year-old in the summer.
It was none other than Lampard who gave Bird his full league debut last campaign. The midfielder went on to feature nine times under the ex-Rams gaffer. He has gone from strength to strength this season. He has emerged as one of the biggest talents in the Championship. It is also being suggested that he looks ready for the leap to the Premier League.
As per reports in England, Chelsea has a £4.8m offer on the table for the 19-year-old Englishman. It has been said that the West Londoners are close to agreeing on personal terms with Bird. Derby is holding out for a £5m fee.
Due to clubs struggling financially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, teams may have to sell for cheaper than what they would have liked. Especially, the smaller clubs are struggling badly. The only way for them to come out of this situation could be selling their best players. The comparatively richer clubs will now look to exploit the smaller teams.
What Frank Lampard Said?
Speaking about the player during his time at Pride Park, Lampard said: “He stands out as a young man. He is very polite with everyone, has a real desire to improve and he is a good team-mate.”
“Whether it has been for the youth teams or when he has been with the first team, he is an all-rounder.
“I have found him to be a great lad and our relationship is really good.”
Will Chelsea Sign Max Bird?
Prior to the Covid-19 crisis, Bird had cemented his place in the first team of Derby County. He had forged a partnership with Wayne Rooney in the middle of the pitch.
Bird, who has a contract with Derby until 2022, has made 13 Championship appearances this season. The player has featured in the Rams’ last nine games. For a player who is just 19 years of age, Bird boasts an immense amount of versatility. So far in his youth and senior career combined, the 19-year-old has played the majority of games as a number six. The player likes to sit deep and dictate the tempo of the game.
He has also featured as a number eight in a box-to-box midfield role. He is pretty confident when playing at the heart of the defence as well. Such an incredibly gifted and versatile player would certainly be a welcome addition to Chelsea and can prove to be a part of the youth revolution at Stamford Bridge.
What Will Happen Now?
He has been mostly deployed in a double pivot in a 4-2-3-1 formation alongside Wayne Rooney, Duane Holmes or Andrew Shinnie and has impressed every time he has been on the pitch. He is always willing to drop deep to get the ball off Derby’s goalkeeper and sprays the ball across the pitch.
At times, he almost drops deep to create a back-three allowing the full-backs Craig Forsyth and Jayden Bogle to burst forward to hurt the opponents. He is always willing to get on the ball and has an eye for a pass too which is evident from his 86% passing accuracy. In the role he is usually deployed in, he is required to play simple short passes rather than risky ones but he does try the fancy things when he gets the opportunity.
He has played 1.2 key passes and 2.4 long balls per 90 minutes this season which shows that he is quite creative for a number six. Just 19 years of age, Bird still has a lot to learn and if he can continue his development, he can certainly prove to one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League in the future. And for just £4.8m, he can prove to be a huge bargain for Chelsea.