'The new Michael Essien'? Here's why Mario Dorgeles is wanted by Chelsea and others

FC Nordsjaelland Maho Yepie Dorgeles Guy-Mario Bocha in action during the UEFA Europa Conference League Third Qualifying Round First Leg match between FCSB and FC Nordsjaelland at Ghencea Stadium, in Bucharest, Romania on August 10, 2023.
(Image credit: Alex Nicodim/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

It’s a familiar system now: a talented player moves from an academy in Africa to a lower-level European club, they prove themselves, then the Premier League big boys come knocking.

The latest player being talked up is Mario Dorgeles, a 19-year-old from Ivory Coast who is currently playing for Danish Superliga side FC Nordsjaelland.

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Andrew Hankinson

Andrew Hankinson is a freelance journalist based in the UK. He has written for GQ, Esquire, Sunday Times, New Yorker, The Athletic, Guardian and FT Weekend. Over two decades he has interviewed many footballers, reported on subjects such as the impact of heading on footballers, and travelled to places like the USA and Saudi Arabia to write about how football is changing around the world.