Noel Whelan has insisted Aston Villa have got the best of the deal which has seen contract rebel Carney Chukwuemeka join Chelsea.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested Steven Gerrard would not have wanted the 18-year-old in the dressing room following his contract standoff.
Chelsea confirmed the signing of England Under-19 international Chukwuemeka from Aston Villa on Thursday (4 August) – with the youngster signing a contract until June 2028.
According to BirminghamLive (3 August), Aston Villa will receive an initial £15million fee plus a further potential £5million in add-ons.
They will reportedly pay Northampton Town £750,000 thanks to a sell-on clause.
Football Insider revealed on 18 July that the youngster wanted a wage of £100,000-a-week if he was to renew his contract at Villa – which was set to expire next summer (2023).
He was subsequently left off the club’s pre-season tour.
Whelan suggested Chukwuemeka’s development is not a sure thing despite his Stamford Bridge switch.
He told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury: “You never know how young players will develop.
“Chelsea obviously feel that it’s going to be £20million well spent. They feel he is going to be a fantastic midfield player.
“If that happens then it’s fantastic for them.
“I think the best business here has been from Aston Villa. They wanted him out, he was making noise – you don’t want that in the dressing room.
“It’s a make or break for him now. He has to prove Villa and Steven Gerrard wrong.”
Chukwuemeka has made just two league starts in his career.
He could have departed the Midlands for a move abroad next year (2023) for a development fee of just £300,000.