Chelsea sign Croatia’s answer to Frank Lampard

Frank Dalleres
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TEENAGE Croatian midfielder Mario Pasalic hopes to emulate the achievements of idol Frank Lampard after following in his footsteps and signing for Chelsea.

Pasalic, 19, joins for an undisclosed fee from Hajduk Split, where he scored 11 goals in 36 appearances as they finished third in their domestic league last season.

“I am a central midfielder, my favourite player is Frank Lampard, and so I am very happy to be a Chelsea player,” said the German-born prospect, who was named in Croatia’s provisional World Cup squad.

Pasalic is Chelsea’s third signing of the summer, following £32m Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa and £27m Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas.

The Blues are also seeking a left-back, having allowed Ashley Cole to leave on a free transfer.

Lampard’s contract also expired at the end of last season and the 36-year-old, Chelsea’s all-time top scorer, is weighing up offers from Australia and the United States.