Aston Villa have officially announced that Carney Chukwuemeka has completed a transfer to Chelsea, a deal reportedly worth £20m in total.
The 18-year-old made 12 appearances in the Premier League last season, including two starts, and despite the expectation of a bigger role under Steven Gerrard this season combined with a new contract offer being on the table since May, Chukwuemeka has opted to continue his career elsewhere.
Given his limited contribution at senior level last season coupled with the fact that Villa tried their best to convince him to commit his long-term future to the club, the disappointment over his departure is lessened by their stance and the way in which they have handled the situation.
Gerrard made the right call to leave Chukwuemeka out of the squad that travelled to Australia for our pre-season tour with uncertainty over his future looming over him, while Villa have done excellent business in getting £20m for a player who ultimately didn’t want to stay with us and was set to see his contract expire next summer and leave as a free agent.
Naturally, it’s never ideal to lose a top talent who has a big future ahead of him if he continues to improve and develop his game, but Villa have dealt with a difficult situation well, and his exit now opens up space in the squad for one of our other top prospects to come through as well as possible further new signings moving forward.