What does £30m get you these days? Well, if rumours are to be believed, it gets you a player who scored 14 goals in over 70 Championship games (Keane Lewis Potter of Hull) or alternatively it is the sound of the starting gun for bids for a player who has made one five minute sub appearance for his parent club.

The latter – Armando Broja, is attracting serious attention from us according to various trustworthy and not so trustworthy outlets.

Newcastle United is in for everyone. They offered me a 3-year deal on Friday after 5-a-side, according to the Ronny Gill, but Broja’s name keeps cropping up time and time again and this fits more and more every time you look at it. But what would United be getting and how would we get him.

This is the 2022 transfer market in a nutshell. Full of ifs and buts and full of protracted negotiations and this one could run and run.

First and foremost Broja is a Chelsea player. That’s the only thing that’s for certain here.

After initially joining Tottenham as a child he switched sides quicker than David Mellor and at the barely believable age of 8, he joined the Stamford Bridge youth system.

Born in Berkshire to Albanian parents, Broja rose through the academy ranks and even at that age the competition must be so fierce at a club that has been a conveyor belt of talent over the last decade and a bit .

To have got to Under 18 level, Broja must have been some talent at that age. His size obviously helped as he was measuring up at 6 ft 2 in Academy football.

That will make you stand out but it was his right foot that counted more than his height.

When Chelsea got a return of 16 goals in 35 games at Under 18 level in the 2020 season, it was enough for Frank Lampard to reward him with his Chelsea first team debut in the March that year.

Call him what you want (I will) but Lampard gave young players a chance that year and Broja was benefited when he trotted on for Olivier Giroud as Everton were hammered (again).

Chelsea has pathways for players. More often than not, it involves Vitesse Arnhem.

The Dutch club has a partnership with Chelsea that sees young players move to the Gelme Dome to gain experience. That might be the kind of relationship we develop with a club on the continent in coming years.

Vitesse have taken stick from their own fans for this, but it’s also given them a rare Dutch cup win and a highest league finish since the ‘arrangement’ started.

Chelsea sent TWENTY EIGHT players to Vitesse up to August 2020 when Broja was the next in line to go Dutch.

It went really well over there. Mason Mount and Nemanja Matic made similar moves early in their careers but Broja perhaps was the most successful of the lot, ending up as Vitesse joint top scorer and brushing off the physical and mental worries of being in a tough league for the first time.

The success of that loan spell didn’t stop Chelsea spending £90m on Lukaku and a load more on Werner, but they safeguarded the younger option by handing Broja a 5 year deal this time last year.

Chelsea has made a fortune out of this sort of player over the years. Nurture them and sell them on for a handsome profit. Broja will be the next if Tuchel assesses him as surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge this summer. .

Weeks after signing a new contract, Chelsea laid down the next challenge to Broja.

Loaned to fellow Premier League side, Southampton where he would get more games and move up another notch.

Southampton even signed his mate on a permanent deal to make him feel more at home – and like Tino Livramento, they were initially massive successes.

On 16 October Broja scored his first goal for the Saints against Leeds and I remember watching him on ‘Match of the Day’ and he bullied defenders s and put in a memorable performance even to a neutral like me.

This form earned him a call up for Albania at various age groups before a full cap against Kosovo and later a goal, against Hungary.

Before Christmas, Broja was very, very good scoring 4 more times and Southampton looked like they had pulled off a masterstroke.

At that point Saints were looking towards Europe but then Ralf Hasenhuttl got his knickers in a twist over who we had signed and hilariously the season unravelled from the moment he made his feelings public. Cause or coincidence? You decide.

Unfortunately Broja kind of unravelled as well.  By the time Spring had sprung, Saints were in freefall. Only Watford had a worse record than Saints’ tally of five points from the last twelve games and you know you’ve been shite when Norwich have got more points than you.

Strangely, Broja became the whipping boy. After a pitiful defeat at Palace, ‘radgie Ralf’ blamed the whole situation on a young lad on loan in his first Premier League season.

“I expect more from my guys- especially Broja, he’s not what he was”

Rumours suggested they had fallen out over tactics and though this is a common complaint from Saints fans about the Austrian manager, the form of Broja had been noted in the St Mary’s stands too.

Although message boards and you tubers aren’t a true reflection on any support statements like

“We will play with ten men today- Broja starts” and “I will drive him back to Chelsea myself” do give cause for concern.

Certainly in the last few weeks of the season Saints fans accused him of having his head turned and not giving 100%. Interesting, but as I don’t watch them except when they play us, it’s hard to tell how true this is. He won’t be back on the south coast it’s fair to say.

Back to the here and now and even as I write this it seems Everton have joined the clubs rumoured to be willing to buy him outright.

The loan ship seems to have sailed. That would have suited United. Gaining a player for a small outlay who could solve a back up striker issue for a year while we spent big on other targets was obviously appealing as we’re anxious to stay on the right side of Financial Fair Play rules. .

Looking at the West Ham interest which is said to be Broja’s favoured destination as well as us and Everton, Chelsea won’t loan out a player they can get £30m for. The player has peaked in his value and the Blues may wish to cash-in, though the world is waiting for Tuchel to make up his mind.

Chelsea are playing it cute. Connor Gallagher and Broja are to be seriously looked at in the next month or so on an American tour and in pre season. They both could solve issues for Chelsea but are either good enough to play regularly for them?

Whatever, Chelsea holds all the aces like they tend to do with young talent in this country and beyond. That’s a lesson for us too.

I’m confident Broja in a decent side could be very good but (and I can’t believe I’m saying this but..) if he’s ultimately not good enough for Chelsea, is he good enough for us?

That’s the £30m gamble isn’t it?

Scott Robson