When ESPN.com reported on Wednesday that New York Red Bulls defender Matt Miazga was soon to be sold to Chelsea, the first reaction of most in the U.S. soccer community was: Surely Miazga won’t play for Chelsea but rather be sent out immediately on loan like so many other players owned by the Blues.
Not so fast, SI.com has learned. A source close to the Miazga deal tells SI.com that if the deal goes through, Chelsea would keep Miazga with its senior team for the remaining four months of this season and then evaluate his performance this summer.
At that point, Chelsea would decide either to keep Miazga or loan him out to another team. That would give Miazga at least four months to train (and perhaps play) with Chelsea’s first team and make his case for inclusion moving forward.
Miazga, 20, is set to move for around $5 million to Chelsea. He had a promising season with the Red Bulls last year and made his U.S. senior debut in November. Miazga turned down a contract extension from New York at the end of last season and would have been entering the final year of his MLS deal. When that contract refusal happened, the chances increased that New York would sell Miazga to avoid letting him go on a free transfer at the end of the 2016 season.
Because Miazga owns a Polish passport, he wouldn’t need a U.K. work permit.