England youth international Jonathan Panzo (19) arrives at Dijon FCO from AS Monaco, signing through to June 2023 and joining fellow new boy, Ecuadorian left-back Anibal Chala, to strengthen the DFCO defense.
One year after Stephy Mavididi, a new English starlet arrived at Dijon FCO. On Wednesday evening, the Burgundian club officially announced the arrival of young defender Jonathan Panzo. The man who will now wear Dijon's number 4 has initialled a three-year contract that sees him make the switch from AS Monaco, where he has been plying his trade for to seasons since moving form the Chelsea youth academy.
In two years, the England youth international (46 caps from U16 to U21), who won the U17 World Cup alongside Phil Foden in 2017, never got his chance in Monaco. Faced with strong competition, he made only two Ligue 1 Uber Eats appearances, at the beginning of last season - a campaign he ended up spending in Belgium, on loan to Cercle Bruges (17 appearances).
Determined to get his career off the starting blocks, Panzo chose to stay in Ligue 1 Uber Eats and take up the challenge offered by Dijon - much to the delight of Peguy Luyindula, the club's sporting director.
"Jonathan is a talented young player who has a good tactical culture and shows intelligence in his positioning," said the former France international. "With a lucid and robust game, he is very serious defensively."
Dijon's Round 16 Ligue 1 Uber Eats fixture, at the end of December, will certainly have a special flavour for the London native, as it will give him the opportunity to measure himself against his former AS Monaco teammates at Dijon's Stade Gaston-Gérard.
Anibal Chala bolsters the left flank
An hour after the announcement of Panzo's signaure, DFCO announced the recruitment of another defender - Ecuadorian left-back Anibal Chala, on loan from Mexican club Deportivo Toluca, with an option to purchase.
At 24 years old, the Ecuadorian international (two caps) will be playing for his first European club after stints with CD El Nacional (EQU), FC Dallas (USA), LDU Quito (EQU), then Deportivo Toluca (MEX), where he played 29 games during the 2019-20 season.
Still unknown to the general public in France, the Ecuadorian was introduced by Luyindula: "He's an ultra-explosive player with really impressive speed. He has a huge gas tank and is capable running all match long. He likes to throw himself forward to create an overlap, but he is bove all a solid player defensively."
(Photo credit: Dijon FCO)