Harry Darling has shone for MK Dons during his time there – and he could now be rewarded with a step up to the Premier League at just 22 years of age.
According to Football League World’s exclusive sources, the player is a target for Chelsea and could end up at Stamford Bridge this summer. If the Blues make a bid for the defender, then it could very well tempt him into a move away from his current side.
Darling played in 41 league games for the Dons last season and very nearly helped them to a promotion from League One. They ultimately fell short but the player’s stock remains high, as he managed seven goals despite playing at the back and showcased his superb ball-playing ability.
Now, Chelsea are believed to be keen to snap the youngster up – but would it be a good deal for the Blues and would he get in their side?
Is it a good potential move?
Darling would be an excellent addition to the Chelsea squad, even if he ends up having to sit on the sidelines for the time being.
The defender is the perfect type of signing for a club like the Blues. He could be snapped up for a relatively small fee this summer and has the potential to end up being sold on for double or triple what they pay if he reaches his potential.
A deal is also good because of that word – potential. Having already shown he can be one of the best in his position in League One last season at just 22-years-old, it looks like there is still plenty more to come from the player.
Time is on his side and he could end up being a very defender down the line.
Would he start?
The likelihood is that any summer deal would end up with him either being used as a squad option by Chelsea or sent out on loan again.
The Blues may need some extra players in defence with the likes of Antonio Rudiger departing but it seems unlikely that Darling would be thrown straight into the club’s first-team without any Championship or Premier League experience.
It would be more plausible that he at least spends half of next season out on loan, probably at a second tier club, before returning to either the first-team fold at Stamford Bridge or heading out to another team on a short-term basis.
Either way, a move would certainly be massive for Darling and whether he was to start straight away or not, it would still be a good signing.
What does he offer?
Darling has all the makings of a very good modern day centre-back and could be a solid option for Chelsea at the back in the future.
He is not afraid to put a tackle in but is also adept when getting forward and having the ball at his feet. His passing in particular is superb for a defensive player.
He is brave enough to carry the ball and his vision in getting the ball to his more attacking teammates but can score a few of his own too.
Darling then has both the characteristics of an old-fashioned centre-half but is a name that could also play out from the back and adopt a much more fluid, passing style of play too.