Romeo Lavia has explained the ‘three factors’ that made him choose Chelsea over Liverpool.
The 19-year-old has finalized his move to the Premier League giants from Southampton for a reported £58 million, signing a seven-year deal at Stamford Bridge and further bolstering Mauricio Pochettino’s midfield.
His move closely follows Moises Caicedo’s £115 million switch from Brighton as the Blues’ spending reaches the £1 billion mark since the arrival of Todd Boehly.
On completing his move to west London, Lavia told the Chelsea website: “I’m really happy to join Chelsea and be a part of this exciting project. It’s an amazing football club with a great history and I’m really delighted to get started.
“I can’t wait to meet all my new team-mates and build a chemistry together to achieve great things together.”
However, Lavia very nearly joined Liverpool instead, and has since explained his reasons for snubbing the Merseyside club in favour of a move to Chelsea.
“I think the project and ambitions of the club were key factors, but also the history behind it,” Lavia added. “So, these three factors influenced my decision.
“The players that we’ve signed are players that we’ve played against and I’ve thought, ‘wow these players are good’, so being able to work with them is a great feeling. I think we’re all young so it will be good to make each other better.
“I’ve known Diego Moreira for a long time. I spoke to Wesley Fofana as well, he’s a good friend of mine. It seems to be a dressing room with a great vibe and i just wanted to be a part of it.”
“Mauricio Pochettino is a great manager. I think we all know what he’s done before and when I spoke to him he was pretty clear on what he wanted and the direction he wanted the team to go in. His energy matched with mine, so I’m really excited to start working with him.”
Co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley also expressed their joy at the signing, stating: “We are very pleased to welcome Romeo to Chelsea. He demonstrated his quality in the Premier League last season at Southampton, showing maturity despite his young age, and is a player we have monitored for some time.
“We believe he is ready to make an impact at Chelsea throughout the current campaign, and in the coming years.”