Chukwuemeka, who was born in October 2003, transferred from Northampton Town to Aston Villa’s academy in March 2016. Four years later, he agreed to his first professional contract with the Premier League team.
He made his Premier League debut at the age of 16 in Villa’s 2-1 victory over Tottenham in May 2021 after impressing the youth coaches at Villa Park. He hit the post shortly after entering the game as a replacement.
Soon after, Chukwuemeka was chosen as Aston Villa’s 2020–21 Academy Player of the Season. He also played on the team that won the FA Youth Cup.
His performance during the 1-1 draw with Brentford, which marked his first Premier League start, was praised as outstanding by former Villa and England midfielder Paul Merson.
However, the midfielder turned down a contract extension offer this summer, missing Villa’s preseason trip to Australia as a result.
Borussia Dortmund had inquired about signing him, and Barcelona too expressed interest. Chukwuemeka was eager to speak with Dortmund about a prospective move after seeing the opportunities afforded to players like Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham in Germany.
But Chelsea swooped in, paying £20 million to sign the gifted youngster, making him one of the highest-paid teenagers in English football.
Due to his creative abilities, Chukwuemeka, a center midfielder who primarily plays as a box-to-box No. 8, has also occasionally been used in a more advanced attacking position.
The 18-year-old is a strong runner with a unique combination of superb close control, perceptive off-the-ball movement, and the capacity to evade an opposing press with his dribbling.
Chukwuemeka has shown a high degree of comfort with the ball and a willingness to engage in physical conflict with opponents by winning 54.7% of his duels and completing 60% of his attempted dribbles.
He also completed passes on average (81.7%) and over 15 to 30 yards (almost 90%), indicating a player who was willing to play progressive throws.
Chukwuemkea has been compared to Jude Bellingham by coaches at Borussia Dortmund, with the Daily Mail reporting that the Bundesliga club see key similarities in their playing style.
“Me and Jude have known each other for a few years,” the midfielder told Soccer Bible. “What he is doing now is inspiring me in a big way to do more. I’m particularly driven by him.
I’ve felt how he can drive me and motivate me. I’d love to get into that position so that I can help show the next player what can be done.”
Right now, both Bellinghham and Chukwuemkea are on the rise, and the future of English football similarly seems to move in the right direction.