Chelsea finally find their Thiago Silva successor! Why Blues have spent €45m on Axel Disasi

Axel Disasi Chelsea GFXGetty/GOAL

On July 18, Chelsea's pre-season preparations hit a sizable bump in the road. Wesley Fofana being omitted from the Blues' tour of the United States just one day prior had sparked some concerns, but few could have predicted just how bad his injury would prove to be.

Fofana was poised for a big 2023-24 season, following a debut campaign plagued by fitness issues. Instead, he will have to watch Mauricio Pochettino's new-look Chelsea side from the sidelines, with ACL surgery keeping him out of action for an extended period.

Not only was the news a bitter blow for the player - who has already suffered more than his fair share of cruel luck on the injury front during his fledgling career - it also left the Blues with a big decision to make in the transfer market. With Cesar Azpilicueta and Kalidou Koulibaly already having departed west London this summer, Chelsea were suddenly looking perilously short at centre-back.

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After spine-chillingly being linked with Harry Maguire a few hours after Fofana's injury was confirmed, they have since gone in a different direction, swooping to sign Axel Disasi from Monaco for a reported fee of €45 million (£39m/$50m).

Disasi, 25, was somewhat of a late bloomer, not making his France debut until last year. But by securing this Chelsea move he is set to finally test himself at the very highest level after a few hype-building seasons in Ligue 1.