Teenager Dujuan “Whisper” Richards could provide the missing firepower for the Blues in West London
Dujuan “Whisper” Richards, who signed a pre-contract with Chelsea, officially joined the big-spending English Premier League (EPL) outfit on Friday,
The Phoenix All-Stars Football Academy and Kingston College striker, who turned down Chelsea’s rivals Newcastle last year, was welcomed by the side. He had played with the Kingston-based Academy since the age of 11.
Richards, who had to wait until hitting his 18th birthday in November before he could be permitted to join the Blues because of stringent EPL rules, had trained with Chelsea’s first-team squad during their pre-season tour in the US.
The hot-shot enthused in an interview with Chelsea’s website: “I’m so pleased to be here. My dream was always to sign a professional contract and to have the chance to do that here at Chelsea, it’s difficult to put into words the emotions. I just can’t wait to get started.”
Yet Richards, whose silky skills alerted Jamaica head coach Heimir Hallgrímsson to the forward, will not team up with fellow Reggae Boy Omari Hutchinson at Chelsea this term.
England-born winger Hutchinson, who in 2022 was ordered to turn down international matches to concentrate on his club career, is currently on loan with highflying Championship side Ipswich Town.
Richards comes into the fold just when Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino could do with his attacking prowess. The club has experienced problems upfront throughout this season, with extremely limited attack options at the moment.
Armando Broja, the 22-year-old Albanian international, was the only fit frontman available during Chelsea’s 1-0 EPL triumph over Fulham today. His match fitness is questionable, having missed most of last season with a knee injury.
France forward Christopher Nkunku, a summer £51 million signing, is suffering from a hip injury.
Nicolas Jackson is absent with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations, and 21-year-old Ivory Coast striker David Fofana has just joined EPL strugglers Burnley on loan until the end of the season.
Port Royal-born Richards, who earned the nickname Whisper” after joining the youth team setup at Jamaican Premier League outfit Harbour View FC as a nine-year-old, will believe that he has a shot at scoring goals in arguably the world’s best domestic league.
Following a chance meeting with Phoenix All-Stars Football Academy founder Craig Butler, Richards changed clubs.
He thrived under the tutelage at the Academy, with his talent for scoring becoming apparent on youth team tours that included a brace against Manchester City and four goals against Aston Villa.
If given the nod by Pochettino, the raw talent of Richards could soon be winning more accolades by scoring for fun against EPL sides at senior level.
Remember to share this article on Facebook and other Social Media Platforms. To submit your own articles or to advertise with us please send us an EMAIL at: [email protected]