Matt Miazga

Nantes
  • DATE OF BIRTH

    19 July 1995
  • BIRTHPLACE

    Clifton, New Jersey, USA
  • Position

    Defender

The signing of Matt Miazga from New York Red Bulls was announced on 30 January 2016. The 20-year-old central defender joined on a four-and-a-half-year contract.

On his arrival he said: ‘I am very happy to sign for Chelsea, a world-famous club with a reputation for major success. I am delighted to be in the Premier League, the best league in the world, and can’t wait to meet my team-mates and get going.

‘I am still at the beginning of my career but I believe this is the place to develop and learn from some of the best players in the world.’

Miazga, born in New Jersey, joined the Red Bulls Academy in 2009 and signed his first professional contract four years later at the age of 17. He made his debut for the Red Bulls shortly after turning 18.

By the 2015 Major League Soccer season, the tall, strong centre-back had established himself as a regular in the heart of a defence which helped the Red Bulls finish with the best regular-season record in North America. He was an ever-present in the subsequent play-off campaign which ended with a narrow two-legged defeat to Columbus Crew in the Conference final.

A fine reader of the game, Miazga also sampled continental football at Red Bulls, appearing in the CONCACAF Champions League.

He made his debut for the US national team in November 2015 having represented his country at Under-20 and Under-23 level. With the US U-23s he was part of their qualification campaign for the 2016 Olympics but they were elminated at the play-off stage by Colombia.

Miazga was given a game for Chelsea Under-21s in March 2016 and at the start of April he made his first team debut, playing 90 minutes away at Aston Villa with John Terry and Gary Cahill both injured. The game went well as he helped keep a clean sheet in a 4-0 win. He made one further appearance in 2015/16, playing the first-half at Swansea a week after his debut.

On 31 August 2016 he moved on a season-long loan to Vitesse Arnhem and while he spent the early part of his time at the club in and out of the side, from February onwards the defender became a regular starter. He was part of the team which helped Vitesse win the Dutch Cup final, their first major trophy triumph. By the end of the campaign he had made 19 starts and 10 substitute appearances.

He returned to Vitesse for 2018/19 and featured prominently throughout the season, making 42 appearances and scoring four goals, including one in a Europa League qualifying play-off match against Utrecht.