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Chelsea's Youth Policy Reviewed

It's a contentious notion but a true one - Chelsea are improving their youth policy.

Emenalho et al have developed a youth strategy that is clearer and will be more effective than ever before.

This article intends to explain how.

Following on from Courtois, De Bruyne, Thorgen Hazard and Lukaku, the Lucas Piazon loan represents the latest in a string of exciting arrangements in which talented youngsters are sent to top clubs in top divisions.

Malaga are flying high, playing Champions League football and fighting for a Champions League place next year in one of the best Leagues on the planet. This is probably a better and more esteemed situation than the parent club.

Piazon is most likely expected to be given playing time as part of the deal. It won't be a guarantee, but Malaga will have said that they expect to play him x amount and we hold that amount to be enough. I think he'll flourish there.

The three aforementioned players are of far higher caliber than the Borini`s, Gokhan Tore`s and Carlton Cole`s of yesteryear, and yet even they may not ever reach the standards required.

Fans of any and every club will always hold their young prospects in very high esteem. Reality requires that they are most of the time thoroughly hyperbolic in their estimations. Josh McEachran will never reach the heights of Xavi or Iniesta. He will not reach the heights of Lampard or Scholes. His level will probably be more Andy Reid or, at a stretch, Raul Meireles.

Watch the friendly match against Paris St. Germain in the U.S in the summer when Marco Verratti made obvious what a truly precocious nineteen year old looks like playing football. It was so conspicuous, they were the same age and yet the ball stuck to the Italian in a way it did not our own squire.

Watch Luke Shaw tonight - he is two years younger the McEachran and yet you will not see the latter play with such assured comfort as will the Southampton left back tonight. McEachran is a talented but second rate player who has been sent to a plucky but second tier club.

De Bruyne, Lukaku and Piazon are not second rate players, and their careers will only be helped by learning their trade alongside players of the quality they one day hope to emulate.

I still hold out hope for Chalobah, and Ake will, I think, be the next to be loaned out to a high quality club in a high quality league.

While there are legitimate concerns about when and how these players are going to fit in to the squad in the future, signing these players young and giving them time to develop is better than our previous policy of waiting to purchase the middle aged, fully developed, fully priced product.

Some will be cut adrift, and each time it will be painful, but it is still a cheaper way of finding those with a world class endowment. It is a system not dissimilar to that of the Portuguese, Dutch and Italian clubs who cheaply purchase ranks of young players from South America, wagering correctly that a single diamond in all that rough will pay for their bet-hedging ten times over.

We are not looking for resale value, but if one or two of the players mentioned above reach their potential, a great deal of money will have been saved. This is the best crop of young players the club has had in its history, and while they are not adjudged to be quite ready yet, rest assured all the right moves are being made to get them there.




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The Journalist

Writer: Wiggis Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 16 2013

Time: 1:01PM

Your Comments

I concur sire...
JohnnyOz
Player trading esp at youth levels etc is also a good way to support the clubs revenue if done correctly and doesnt necessarily mean that all our youth players will progress to the 1st team...I think we are certainly making the right noises atm, and if we can develop two or three worldies over the next 5 years or so in addition to trading revenues, then the Chelsea academy will have earned its keep
JohnnyOz
well we can atleast hope McEachran will be top class. I think the piazon move is a good one. It shows that the club has decided to fuel his progress so that he can be a potential starter sooner than expected as he is just too good to keep with the youth at this point.
Slippy G-19
I now have serious doubts about Josh Mcceachran but we'll have to wait and see. he's almost 20 now, and i'd expect him to be the best player in the championship if he really harbours hopes of being a chelsea starter anytime soon...he isnt! Piazon on the other hand i have really high hopes, he will become a worldie very soon as will KDB...I also hear good things about Thorgan if he can build up a bit more physicality...The future's so very Blue... :)
JohnnyOz
I THINK WE SHOULD LOCK OUR YOUTH ACADEMY...WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY...NO ONE WLL DEVELOP HERE AT CHELSEA...NOT NOW NOT IN FUTURE ALSO...NO ONE WILL GET ANCE HERE NO MATTER HOW BRILLIANT HE IS...
shlok27
JUST KEEP ON DREAMING THAT HE WIL BECOME THIS HE WILL BECOME THAT...NOTHING WIL HAPPEN HERE
shlok27
@shlok27 - your optimism is boundless & infectious lol...not
JohnnyOz
Agreed Mate! This crop of youngsters are potential world class players and in few years,which should be at the heat of ffp,we will have the luxury of just recalling them instead of signing similar qualities at exhorbitant prizes. The major factor that will undermine dream of having them in our first team someday is if we fail to make provisions for them as at when due and don't integrate them properly due to lack of plans for them and constant dependence on other club's ready-made players. I see Piazon,Lukaku,Chaloba,Davila,Toddy,Omeruo,Thorgan,KDB,PvA and Courtois making the cut someday. You re right about Josh,i also believe Kakuta,Bruma and some others may not actually attain Chelsea quality afterall
Ohans
My eyes are on kdb, piazon and courtois, those are the few along with chalobah who I see stepping up and joining chelsea's first team next season under a stable coach if that dream is ever going to come through. Thorgan hazard? Hmmmmmm, don't know much about his development
Desmondadonis
HAHA! I stoped reading this when I see what you had written about Josh. Please tell me Mr Knowitall, how old Xavi was when he became a first team regular. You think that because players like Wilshere and Rooney were playing regularly by the age of 17, if a player can not emulate that, they wont make it at the top level. McEachran has so much talent it's a joke, the kid definitely has areas he needs to improve on, but he has the quality to go very far.
JamieKCFC
I have watched Josh on more than few occassions this season..and I think this article is way too harsh on the boy...I think he is potentially world class...its his attitude that is way too soft for the role he intends to be playing...and i can see him already beefing up...I think he will eventually make it at chelsea...Apart from the Josh bit which i totally dissgree with...its a decent article with good points...mark my points, Josh will either stay with the first team next season or play in the premier league or any other tougher environment..he is that good...the middlesbrough move was good for his confidence giving what happened at swansea....this guy will be a top top deep lying playmaker in a couple of years....we'll see who is right...I dont think the author of the article has ever watched Josh at all this season...he has vastly improved...enough said!
layorh12
@Ohans...Ulyses Davila? really?
JohnnyOz
I can say it with all my mouth that with the present level of josh's development, there no player currently in the chelsea first team who can match him in term of vision...in his last match where he played for only hour (just coming back from a minor injury)...he was picking passes after passes in terribly tight spaces within a crowd of opposing defenders...very Xavi-like indeed..based on such unique performance which has been consistent, how can anybody conclude he will rot in the championship??.....its still early days but we'll see what will happen in the summer....
layorh12
well said layor12, I think this guy has been playing too much football manager
JamieKCFC
Wiggis - Nice effort...But you do not ADDRESS the primary issue...Any IDIOT can go out and spend a bazillion $$$$ on youth players but WHAT IS THE STRATEGY...Buy them and then send them out on loan for 3 or 4 years? IS that the STRATEGY? What is the STRATEGY on how to incorporate them into the 1st team??? If there in NO POSSIBLE option to ever incorporate them into the 1st team the WHY the HELL does the organization buy them??? Why did this organization by Marin? as an insurance policy if they didn't get Hazard? OK so we got Hazard...now is Marin going to block the development of other young players? Lets face it...Marin cant defend and he is slightly just slightly bigger than an elf...So does anyone believe (with his history of injuries) that he will have a long term future playing for Chelsea? or even getting much 1st team playing time??? I would rather play KDB or Piazon any day rather than Marin...I am not hating on Marin...but using his purchase as an example...What about Lukaku??? Torres is a complete and utter bust...I would rather have Lukaku any day than Torres...Torres doesn't even care...Lukaku has more drive, passion and ambition in his pinkie than Torres....Why did Chelsea purchase Courtois??? They just signed Cech for 5 years...Wiggis please explain???
lamarochs
Johnny, that guy got talent,although for a while now i've lost his trail,but from what i saw of him earlier on,i xpect him to come good.
Ohans
I do not agree with your thoughts on Josh McEachran. I'm really starting to think Chelsea fans are the worst. Chalobah is the bomb!
Warney23
Warney23,re you a Chelsea fan?
Ohans
ISCO 1st option confirmed... http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/chelsea-get-first-option-on-hotproperty-isco-8454193.html Now we know why management need to move Super 8 on in the summer...or why they think they do
JohnnyOz
JohnnyOz - I am not familar with Isco...anyone...is he a passer/playmaker for the pivot or is he another attacking midfielder?
lamarochs
Why should we be talking of loaning out Marin? This whole scenario is becoming strange to me.
Ohans
one i would like suggest fellow VC members is to write occasional articles on our best prospects so that members like me would learn how good they are performing. i m a diehard chelsea fan. but as i m staying in one of the most rural places in southern india and access to internet and other media is very limited for me. i love u all.
The Blue Indian
Isco is one of the most highly sought after midfielders in Europe and he is only 20...Real Madrid already bid 13M recently. I'd say he was a CM/AM
JohnnyOz
@lamarochs isco is a cam.he doesnt play in the pivot and his playing style is like mata's
djangbahevans
@lamarochs isco is a cam.he doesnt play in the pivot and his playing style is like mata
djangbahevans
how is kakuta developing in the netherlands?? he was arguably the best young prospect in the world when we bought him.
The Blue Indian
Courtois- [Kalas-Bruma-Omerou-Wallace] [Chalobah-Josh] [Torgan-KDB-Piazon] [Lukaku]. Would love to see this team in preseason.
SameX
The pain my heart about Kakuta says it all THEBLUE we had a talent we simply didn't nurture right. I hope he, along with McEachran, are the last talents we have "wasted"
@Mq
The pain my heart about Kakuta says it all THEBLUE we had a talent we simply didn't nurture right. I hope he, along with McEachran, are the last talents we have "wasted"
@Mq
Btw, Wallace, Kalas, Kane are all quality right back prospects and Azpilicueta is still young, i fear for their future. If one or 2 of them can also play as LB it will be good for them. I have not seen Wallace play so I cant tell but Kalas is class and I think he has found his best position @RB. If Wallace can play as a LB it will be perfect.
SameX
With Pep "gone" it's either "In Rafa we have to trust" or it's Pellegrini coming, I hope they give some of these players a chance
@Mq
Omg I cant believe kakuta is the youngster that got us into trouble in 2009
Ken4CFC
we bought coutious so that he can play five years at atmadrid...good business...we pay they play...its like we are paying someones bill...
shlok27
@ shlok - we actually make decent money out of high profile loan deals....like KDB, Courtois etc clubs pay us a loan fee
JohnnyOz
Did we sign courtois for atletico to replace their goalie they sold to strengthen our direct rival
Ken4CFC
Did we sign courtois for atletico to replace their goalie they sold to strengthen our direct rival??
Ken4CFC
IMO we messes up Kakuta, we should have send him on loan to Arsenal as a youngster can only play for Chelsea if we paid more than 20m for him.>>> I don't think any of the on loan players will make it at Chelsea they know if they WARM then bench like Kakuta they will become Kakuta.>>>I want us to buy a club in Holland similar to Udinese and Watford so all of our academy players can play PROPER first team footy EVER WEEK.
B2K420
@ken..ask Google that question
chuks09
To the author nice effort..i appreciate your trying to see the best in things but to be honest i see nothing that suggests to me there is any grand plan or design to develop our youth players and recent history is not at all encouraging. when one of these loanees actually return home, get a first team position and dont end up like Danny sturridge then we can talk..till then i wont get my hopes high..they have been well and properly dashed many times before.
GabeU
I agree our youth policy is far from perfect, I acknowledge as much in the article, I just think it's improving. A few years ago those players now out on loan at top clubs would be languishing in the U21s. I agree we have not yet seen the policy of loaning out our youngsters work, but this article amounts to a prediction, a prediction that at least one of those mentioned in this article will be a first team player soon. Also I was right on the money with Luke Shaw - he looked one of the best players on the pitch tonight. We need to sign him. He's a Chelsea fan too.
Wiggis
Wiggis, this is a well meaning article but one bereft of any reason or logic whatsoever. Lamarochs said it all. Buying young players for 10-20 million pounds and loaning them to other teams is not a youth strategy. Developing players from the academy and incorporating them into the first team is how a youth strategy generally works.
Deltaforce
@chuks,u can help me do that since google is your neighbour
Ken4CFC
I agree 10-20 million is too much - no more Lukakus - but under, say, 7, is a reasonable way to continue. People have always praised Arsenal for their youth policy but they have always just bought young players from other clubs. They have, like us, one player in their first team who is a true academy product, Jack Wilshere. The others are expensive poachings from other clubs. This strategy works and it is the one we are beginning to use. If we keep spending a few million on young players like we have recently, and then loaning them out to top division clubs, then it won't take long before we see this pay off.
Wiggis
I dont think our youth policy is improving, only that we are buying more youth players of quality.. Until wesee more transition of them to the first team where they get regular play time, I think I will stick with that opinion! Sturridge has been the closest player of recent times bought young, and integrated after a loan spell and a little game time - yet despite proving worth and talent is sold for minimal profit (well no profit at all if we subtracted wages over the years). Lukaku and KDB must come back for me next season.
BlueKiwi
And add to that I realy hope Piazon loan goes well enough for him to show his qualiy to come back to us and get some more play time to what he has so far!
BlueKiwi
 

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