Chelsea sign ‘defensive animal’ from Benfica as Blues announce double deal

Will Ford
Diego Moreira (Left) has joined Chelsea from Benfica.
Diego Moreira (Left) has joined Chelsea from Benfica.

Chelsea have announced their fouth and fifth signings of the summer with Diego Moreira joining from Benfica and Alex Matos from Norwich.

The pair of 18-year-olds arrive on free transfers having impressed at youth level for their previous clubs.

Matos is a versatile midfielder who came through the Luton Town youth academy before representing Norwich at both Under-18 and Under-21 level last season.

Moreira has made two senior appearances for Benfica and is part of the Portugal Under-21 squad due to face England in the European Championship quarter-final on Sunday.

Luis Castro, who coached the Benfica B team last season, described Moreira as a “defensive animal” with a “street football style”.

He told Mais Futebol in April: “He has improved a lot. He has this street football style, but it is increasingly productive.

“He is managing to reconcile being entertaining, because he brings spectacle to the game, with better statistics. And he has a very particular characteristic, which is not normal for a player of his talents, which is the defensive component.

“He’s a defensive animal and I don’t see many wingers worldwide with Diego Moreira’s defensive commitment.”

Chelsea are looking to continue to invest in their senior squad this summer having seen a number of high-profile players leave the club.

They’ve already landed Nicolas Jackson from Villarreal and Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig, but are now also looking to sign a replacement for Mason Mount, who’s agreed a move to Manchester United.

A report last week claimed ‘internal discussions about a replacement for Mount’ have taken place with ‘the success of their clear-out of unwanted players meaning Chelsea are also increasingly open to signing a more attacking midfielder’.

Evening Standard claimed Celta Vigo’s Gabri Veiga, who’s been linked with Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United as well as Chelsea, is the Blues’ ‘top target for that position’, but it appears they’re spreading the net a litte wider in their search for a playmaker.

Journalist and Chelsea insider Simon Phillips says they’re ‘exploring the signing’ of Cherki, who’s emerged as one of the top young talents in Ligue 1 in recent seasons.

The 19-year-old got four league goals and six assists for Lyon last term and is valued by Transfermarkt at €30m.

Chelsea are also ‘monitoring’ Bayer Leverkusen star Florian Wirtz, according to Football Transfers.

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