Chelsea on Friday signed Italian youngster Cesare Casadei on a six-year contract from Inter Milan.
The teenage midfielder was part of the Italy side which reached the semifinals of the European Under-19 Championship in the summer. He has been described as a complete midfielder, with an eye for goal.
Casadei started his youth career with Cervia before catching the eye at Cesena, helping their Under-15s reach the national playoffs. When Cesena folded in 2018, he moved to Inter and made an instant impact, scoring a 95th-minute equaliser in the play-off quarterfinals as they became national Under-17 champions in 2018/19, despite still being a schoolboy and only turning 16 that January.
By the end of the following campaign, Cesena was a regular for the Nerazzurri’s Under-19s — the highest level of youth football in Italy. He starred for the team as they were crowned national champions last season, scoring a crucial equaliser as they beat Roma in the play-off final.
In total, he scored 16 goals in 38 appearances in the top-tier Primavera division and UEFA Youth League in 2021/22.
“Cesare is a player we have tracked for some time and we are delighted that he has now agreed to join Chelsea, where he will initially strengthen our Under-21s squad. He is another exciting emerging talent who we are looking forward to seeing develop and progress further as he breaks into senior football in the coming years,” said Neil Bath, Head of Chelsea youth development.
The 19-year-old Casadei frequently trained with Inter’s senior side last season, being named among the substitutes by manager Simone Inzaghi for the first time when they played Sassuolo in Serie A in February.