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Chelsea defender Tomas Kalas has left the club after 9 years as a Chelsea player.
Kalas moved to Bristol City on a permanent deal having spent last season on loan at the Championship club.
The 26-year-old Czech international defender has signed a four-year deal with Bristol City, and the deal will make him the club’s highest paid player.
Kalas signed a pre-contract with Chelsea in 2010 but joined Chelsea full-time in January 2011, but ended up making just 4 appearances for the Blues all these years.
Kalas was highly rated as a young defender at the club and made his international debut for Czech Republic in November 2012. Two years later, Jose Mourinho made a young Kalas part of the Chelsea squad for the 2013/14 season, and gave him his debut in a high profile game as a substitute in a League Cup victory at Arsenal.
A high point for Kalas as a Chelsea player was when he played and impressed alongside Branislav Ivanovic in central defence as the Blues kept a clean sheet in a 2-0 win at Liverpool in April 2014 – a defeat that dented a major blow to the Liverpool’s title hopes. Kalas was even hailed for stopping Suarez in that game.
Bristol City Chief Executive Mark Ashton said of the deal: “We are thrilled Tomas has committed his future to Bristol City for a club-record fee and I know it is a signing which City supporters have been eagerly hoping for.
“A player of Tomas’ stature naturally attracts a lot of interest but we worked hard to secure his services which I believe shows a lot about our ambition. All credit as well to Chelsea who have been excellent to deal with regarding Jay (Dasilva) and now Tomas.”
Bristol City Head Coach Lee Johnson said: “We saw last season the qualities he brings and Tomas is exactly the type of player we want to build our team around. Not only is he a fantastic footballer but someone with a winning mentality.
“A lot of credit should go to Mark Ashton, Jon Lansdown and the City Board for the hard work in making this happen.”