The Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern are growing increasingly frustrated at their side’s lack of youth development. The Blues have really struggled to build upon the success of their academy.
The true nature of the epidemic at Stamford Bridge has been highlighted in a recent piece by the Telegraph from earlier this week, which reveals that Antonio Conte apparently told staff at Chelsea that Ruben Loftus-Cheek would be in his team if it were picked on training sessions. This is, clearly, a huge concern for Chelsea, and having sat on it for a few days, our landlord thinks that it spells bad news for the club.
This isn’t a problem that can be fixed this summer, though, regardless of who comes in to replace Antonio Conte – if he does leave.
Chelsea’s youth policy needs an entire restructure – and it needs to begin at the top. It seems that, regardless of any actual talent, a player that is signed for a significant transfer fee immediately deserves game time over a homegrown youngster, and that simply isn’t the case. You can’t honestly look at the Chelsea first team and say that Davide Zappacosta is impressing more than Ola Aina would at Chelsea, nor could you argue that Tiemoue Bakayoko has done more at Stamford Bridge than Loftus-Cheek has at Crystal Palace.
What’s more, the Blues need to desperately do away with the myth that a young player can’t handle the pressure at the highest level. You’ve only got to look at clubs like Man Utd – with Marcus Rashford – or Tottenham – with Dele Alli and Harry Kane – to see that if they’re given a chance, youngsters can turn into top-tier players within just a few years.
How many mistakes do Chelsea have to make before they realise the errors of their ways? It’s a problem with management, and it’s a problem with the ownership. They can’t afford to make another Kevin De Bruyne or Mohamed Salah-level mistake.
Conte clearly doesn’t value youth as highly as the fans do, and that’s a huge problem for the Blues.
Chelsea fans – thoughts?
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