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Chelsea's Youth Policy Reviewed

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.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Wednesday January 16 2013
Time: 1:01PM


I concur sire...
16/01/2013 13:26:00
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
16/01/2013 13:30:00
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
16/01/2013 13:42:00
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... :)
16/01/2013 13:49:00
16/01/2013 13:50:00
16/01/2013 13:53:00
@shlok27 - your optimism is boundless & infectious lol...not
16/01/2013 13:57:00
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
16/01/2013 14:12:00
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
16/01/2013 14:33:00
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.
16/01/2013 14:35:00
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!
16/01/2013 14:42:00
@Ohans...Ulyses Davila? really?
16/01/2013 14:44:00
well said layor12, I think this guy has been playing too much football manager
16/01/2013 14:47:00
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 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....
16/01/2013 14:47:00
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 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???
16/01/2013 15:03:00
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.
16/01/2013 15:06:00
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!
16/01/2013 15:14:00
Warney23,re you a Chelsea fan?
16/01/2013 15:46:00
ISCO 1st option confirmed... Now we know why management need to move Super 8 on in the summer...or why they think they do
16/01/2013 15:50:00
JohnnyOz - I am not familar with he a passer/playmaker for the pivot or is he another attacking midfielder?
16/01/2013 16:08:00
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