Chelsea paying for 24-hour security for 16-year-old Ecuadorian Kendry Paez

Kendry Paez at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea's Carabao Cup tie against Newcastle
Kendry Paez will formally join Chelsea in 2025 after his 18th birthday - Getty Images/Robin Jones

Chelsea are offering support to wonderkid Kendry Paez during unrest in his home country of Ecuador that has included a wave of attacks carried out by criminal organisations.

While Chelsea have not commented on the nature of their ongoing support, it is believed the club are paying for round-the-clock security for 16-year-old Paez and his family.

The same support has also been offered by Chelsea to the family members of record signing Moises Caicedo who still live in Ecuador.

Chelsea signed Paez, rated one of the top young prospects in the world, for £17.27 million from Ecuadorian club Independiente del Valle, with an agreement that the youngster will join on his 18th birthday – May 4 next year.

Paez visited England last month to train and watch Chelsea with more trips in the pipeline, but he will continue to play for Independiente until he can formally complete his big-money move.

The situation in Ecuador, where gunmen stormed a television station live on air, has led to concern at Chelsea about the safety of Paez and his family members.

Chelsea remain in regular contact with Paez and have offered support, as they would for all players in a similar situation.

Paez is rated as one of the most exciting young talents in world football and last October, aged 16 years and 161 days, became the youngest-ever South American to score in a World Cup qualifier, in Ecuador’s 2-1 win away to Bolivia.

Dubbed the new jewel of Ecuador, the teenager is already the youngest appearance-maker and goalscorer in his country’s top flight, scoring on his debut aged just 15. He captained Ecuador to the final of the South American Under-17 Championship this year and holds the record for being the youngest ever to score at the Fifa Under-20 World Cup.

Chelsea’s British record signing Caicedo, who is an Ecuador team-mate of Paez, also started his career at Independiente and the pair share the same agent, who also looks after striker Nicolas Jackson and recently signed up Ian Maatsen before the left-back’s loan move to Borussia Dortmund.

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