Chelsea’s youth exodus is set to continue with the departure of highly rated right-back Valentino Livramento.
The 18-year-old, who goes by Tino, is on the cusp of sealing a £5m move to Southampton, although Chelsea have not cut ties with him completely after negotiating themselves both a buy-back and a sell-on clause.
Here’s all you need to know about the young star.
Chelsea were aggressively pushing Livramento’s development for a while because they see him as a genuine future star.
Given his Under-23 debut before he had even turned 17, Livramento enjoyed the best season of his young career in 2020/21 when he racked up three goals and ten assists from right-back, earning himself Chelsea’s Academy Player of the Season award.
He follows Conor Gallagher and Billy Gilmour in picking up the award, signalling the kind of heights Chelsea believe he can reach.
Nowadays, full-backs are expected to fly up and down the pitch from the first whistle to the last, being just as impactful in attack as they are in defence.
Fortunately, that’s exactly what Livramento is about.
An early bloomer, Livramento is a physically imposing character who has made a habit of overwhelming his opponents with a perfect blend of pace and power, and most importantly, he can do that for 90 minutes each and every week.
With a game as well-rounded as Livramento’s, it should come as no surprise that he has spent time playing in pretty much every position on the pitch.
As a young boy at my Sunday league team I started off as a centre-back, he told Chelsea’s official website. “I thoroughly enjoyed defending and every now and then got forward to try and score.
“It was later in my first season there when I moved further up the pitch as a striker/winger. This is where I really enjoyed my football and scored numerous goals which later helped me win top goal scorer that season. I remember my coach back then saying how I was an excellent finisher and had the pace that a winger needed. This gave me great confidence as a young boy and helped me continue to play such positive football.”
Livramento’s marauding runs from full-back helped him become one of the Chelsea academy’s most dangerous creators, largely because of his pin-point accuracy from crosses.
While comfortable with the traditional floated cross, Livramento’s bread-and-butter is a low, drilled cross towards a late runner or a retreating striker.
Combining perfect timing and fantastic quality with the ball at his feet, Livramento knows how to pick out a free man in the box, and his assist numbers are proof of that.
Born in Croydon, Livramento has represented England from Under-15 to Under-20, but he is also eligible to represent Portugal through his father.
Growing up, his dad did his best to teach Livramento of the footballing heritage of his roots by showing him footage of the great Luis Figo, whose name sat on the back of his first Portugal shirt.
Livramento is very attached to his Portuguese heritage, but up to now, his international focus has remained on England.
It’s not hard to find a young player who looks up to Cristiano Ronaldo, but for Livramento, his admiration of the Portugal forward stems more from his work rate than his talent on the pitch.
“I always looked up to Cristiano Ronaldo,” he said. “The way he plays the game with no fear and so much confidence really inspired me – he plays the game like no one else and is a machine.
“To still be scoring the amount of goals that he is now is astonishing but it is a result of his work ethic and willingness to stay at the top of the game and prove that he is the best. Also for me having Portuguese blood he inspires me make my family proud.”
Livramento’s preferred position is on the right, but he has been asked to fill in on the left on a handful of occasions.
He’s comfortable on his left foot and is happy enough crossing and shooting with it, although Livramento’s focus will always be on getting the ball on to his right foot.
That versatility will make it easy for Livramento to find minutes at senior level, although his preference will be to start at right-back.