Chelsea gem Kendry Paez grabbed fresh Lionel Messi plaudits at the weekend after scoring a wondergoal for Independiente. The Blues signed the 16-year-old from the Ecuadorian club in the summer but will have to wait another two years to welcome him to Stamford Bridge as he won’t link-up with the west Londoners until he’s 18.
Chelsea have been prolific in the transfer market since Todd Boehly completed his takeover at the end of May 2022. The American clearly has one eye on the future and has snapped up a whole host of youngsters, with Paez set to arrive in 2025 in a deal worth just over £17million.
But before he moves to England, he will carry on playing for Independiente, who were responsible for nurturing his talents in their academy.
Paez became the youngest debutant and scorer in the Ecuadorian top-flight in February when he found the back of the net in a 3-1 victory over Mushuc Runa SC two months before he had even turned 16. And the attacking midfielder hit the headlines once again earlier this month when he struck in Ecuador’s 2-1 victory over Bolivia as he became the youngest South American player to score in a World Cup qualifier.
Paez has already won three caps for Ecuador and has been tipped to succeed at the top of the game when he moves to Chelsea. And on Sunday, he illustrated once again what Blues fans can look forward to as he scored a sublime goal in Independiente’s 2-0 victory over Guayaquil City.
With the visitors leading 1-0 just before the break, the ball broke to Paez 25 yards from goal. The teenage sensation quickly switched the ball onto his left foot and curled a rocket of a shot into the top corner of the net. And the goal had Chelsea fans purring after the footage was shared on social media.
“I haven’t seen this level of ball striking since 2012 Messi,” wrote @Btecrj on X (formerly Twitter). “He’s the closest to Messi,” gushed @Shine04jr. And @deykunle0 penned: “Messi type of shot.” Another fan @FamzLilz wrote: “Our very own Lionel Messi!” And @BDKANE24 added: “Baby Messi.”
Meanwhile, other fans refused to downplay the player’s potential, with @HowUBenFeller writing: “Future Ballon D’Or winner.” Meanwhile, @GaiborQuiroz penned: “It’s not to exaggerate, but Kendry Paez has vision of the game, creation and goal. This boy can be the next GOAT.” And @DaviesAyo8 simply added: “Chelsea struck gold.”