Chelsea continue to build for the future as they eye up their latest teenage sensation.
Chelsea have quenched their thirst for acquiring a whole host of emerging talent since the arrival of Todd Boehly.
The Blues have scoured Europe to unearth gems, predominantly aged 21 or under, who boast a high ceiling of potential and can direct the club back towards a trophy-laden period under Mauricio Pochettino.
In the summer, this model was particularly prevalent as only three of their 12 signings were older than 23, including Christopher Nkunku, Robert Sanchez and Axel Disasi.
From the evidence of their recruitment, it is no surprise to see the Blues field the youngest squad on average in the Premier League this season (23.7).
If reports linking them to AS Monaco's youngster Malamine Efekele are to be correct, the 19-year-old would bring the average age of their squad down even further.
Chelsea transfer news - Malamine Efekele
According to Foot Mercato [via Football Transfers], Chelsea are one of several clubs scouting winger Efekele after reports emerged of the Blues' interest.
Compared to former Monaco wonderkid, Kylian Mbappe, who left the club to join Paris Saint-Germain for €180m (£157m) in 2018, the Frenchman has been in fine form for the youth teams this term, scoring four goals and supplying five assists.
The Mbappe comparisons run deeper than the fact that Efekele is a lightning-quick winger from Monaco, having also played for AS Bondy, like the PSG star, and was coached by Mbappe’s father, Wilfried, at the club.
Despite admiring the Frenchman's qualities, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has admitted that there have been no concrete talks between Efekele and Chelsea, although several clubs are interested.
Romano said in his Caught Offside Daily Briefing column: “I’ve had some fans ask me about Monaco wonderkid Malamine Efekele and links with Chelsea.
“He’s a very good and interesting talent, but I’m not aware of any concrete talk or link, at this stage. It’s just normal scouting activity by many top clubs, something very normal for talents like Efekele.”
If Chelsea were to secure the wonderkid's signature, it wouldn't be the first time they've utilised the French market, having acquired Benoit Badiashile, Malo Gusto, Disasi and Lesley Ugochukwu in the past year.
However, Blues legend Eden Hazard - who arrived at Stamford Bridge as a 21-year-old in 2012 - is arguably their most successful Ligue 1 export.
Eden Hazard's goal record for Chelsea
Hazard was captured from Lille for a fee in the region of £32m and the rest, as they say, is history.
The brilliant Belgian moved to England on the back of a staggering 20 goals and 18 assists in one campaign for Lille and instantly left his mark at Stamford Bridge by terrorising defences.
In 352 appearances for Chelsea, Hazard enjoyed a glittering career at the club, recording 110 goals and 92 assists as well as scooping a whole host of domestic honours, including two Europa League trophies, an FA Cup and two Premier League titles.
If Efekele was to link up with Pochettino, although he boasts the blistering pace and the fleet-footed nature of Hazard, it would be near impossible for him to eclipse what he achieved at the club.
Despite demonstrating his tremendous talent in the youth setup, Efekele is still yet to make a senior appearance in Ligue 1 at the age of 19.
By contrast, the former Belgium international was already ripping up France's top division at his age, posting 18 goal contributions in the 2010/11 season to help Lille secure their third-ever Ligue 1 title.
When comparing the abilities of both players at a similar age, Hazard was, quite clearly, levels ahead in terms of his development, however, the Monaco youngster could soon see his talents explode on the world stage and reach the potential that the "next Mbappe" tag promises.