Adarabioyo: Chelsea outpace the competition to secure Nigeria-eligible defender

Chelsea have officially completed the signing of Super Eagles-eligible defender Tosin Adarabioyo. The Premier League outfit announced the signing of the 26-year-old in a statement released on Friday.

The Manchester City academy product spent the last three and a half years at Fulham, where he developed into one of the most highly-rated defenders in the Premier League, but refused to sign an extension when his contract expired in June.

The Manchester City academy graduate had earlier been linked with a move to Newcastle United and Manchester United, but the 2021 Champions League winners swooped in and have now signed the centre-back on a free transfer.

“Chelsea is pleased to announce centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo will join the club ahead of the 2024/25 season. The 26-year-old has signed a four-year contract – which begins on July 1 – and arrives from west London neighbours Fulham,” a statement from the Blues said.

Tosin Adarabioyo revels in Chelsea move

Adarabioyo’s move brings an end to the transfer speculation that has surrounded his future since January. The 26-year-old was a key player in Fulham’s defence and made 25 appearances in all competitions last season while contributing two goals.

The ex-Sheffield Wednesday rearguard was said to be highly recommended by new manager Enzo Maresca and has now become the club’s first signing under the Italian.

Speaking after his transfer was announced, the towering defender spoke of his excitement at joining. The defender further noted that he was looking forward to helping the Blues to achieve their goals.

“Chelsea is a huge club and this is a full-circle moment for me. I was born three miles away from Stamford Bridge and made my professional debut there. I’m very excited and looking forward to helping push the club in the direction we want to go,” he said. The former Fulham star will now aim to become a starter under Maresca, whose style favours ball-playing defenders.

It is worth noting that Adarabioyo previously represented England at youth level but was not included in Gareth Southgate’s squad for Euro 2024, which means he’s still eligible to play for Nigeria.  

Adarabioyo: Chelsea outpace the competition to secure Nigeria-eligible defender
Emmanuel Ayamga

Emmanuel Ayamga is a Ghanaian journalist with a little over five years of experience writing about African football.

His articles and features have been published in renowned news media like Pulse Ghana, The Guardian, DW, Al Jazeera and Sportskeeda. His bylines can also be found in the UK journals World Soccer Magazine and These Football Times.