Chelsea have been on a roll so far this season. There have been some hiccups, but for the most part, Maurizio Sarri has done a brilliant job. He’s transformed the style of the team, he’s brought in some brilliant new players, and the current individuals that were already at the club prior to his arrival have universally taken their respective games to the next level.
However, despite all of the success, there is one thing that Chelsea fans simply must not let go, and that’s Sarri’s attention to young players so far this season.
Simply put, it’s been his biggest failing thus far, and if he doesn’t change things soon, it could prove to be the biggest mistake of his tenure.
Over the summer, the signs looked good. Both Ethan Ampadu and Callum Hudson-Odoi looked good, and they looked ready to be a part of the Chelsea first team. However, it’s all gone downhill since then.
Ampadu hasn’t been seen, and Hudson-Odoi has been similarly absent, and that just doesn’t make sense. Ampadu, in particular, is quickly emerging as one of Wales’ key men in the national team, yet he’s not getting a look in at Stamford Bridge. Regularly, players like Danny Drinkwater or Gary Cahill are selected ahead of him; and it’s hard to see either of that experienced duo at Stamford Bridge in 12 months.
Roadblocks like Victor Moses – who clearly isn’t a good enough winger – are only making the problem worse. He played for Chelsea against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup, and he did little to indicate that he’s any better than Hudson-Odoi. This is just another example of the Blues focusing on the present, rather than looking into the near future by selecting someone like Hudson-Odoi.
Ethan Ampadu is one of Europe’s brightest young defensive talents, whilst Callum Hudson-Odoi is arguably the most exciting winger in the English developmental system. When you look at teams like Borussia Dortmund, who are getting so much back after giving a chance to young Jadon Sancho, it really boggles the mind to think that Chelsea are just sitting on so much talent.
There truly is no reason for it, anymore. In the past, you could look at Chelsea teams and, retrospectively, there was no reason for a manager to select Josh McEachran over players like Michael Essien, Frank Lampard or Michael Ballack. Today, though, that’s no longer the case. Ampadu has a case for displacing David Luiz, whilst Hudson-Odoi is certainly no worse than Victor Moses. That’s without even mentioning Ruben Loftus-Cheek, too, who has gone from the star of the Chelsea academy to nothing more than a backup in the space of a few short months at Stamford Bridge.
It’s only going to impact Chelsea negatively if this continues long-term, and Sarri doesn’t stand a chance of building a legacy without the youth.
Chelsea fans – thoughts?
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