Loftus-Cheek Proving Chelsea`s Academy Works
Ruben Loftus-Cheek`s man-of-the-match performance for England last night bodes well for Chelsea`s future. We`re finally getting the first glimpses of how Chelsea`s loan policy can reap dividends.
Andreas Christensen`s two seasons in the German Bundesliga with Borussia Mönchengladbach has shown that what is needed is loans at higher levels than the English National Leagues.
With Loftus-Cheek facing a level of opposition that matches what he`ll encounter when he returns to Chelsea is the key. He may be playing in a poor team but he is standing out in it, nonetheless, hence his England call-up.
The same can be said for Tammy Abraham, who has been loaned to Swansea. Like RLC, he`s not playing in a great team but he is excelling in it.
With both joining the England squad for the current friendlies against Germany and Brazil another positive is Gareth Southgate being in charge of England. From the point of view of taking England a long way in a tournament, there have to be doubts. But, knowing Chelsea`s youngsters from his management at more junior England levels, their development can only be enhanced by him being there.
Should the two of them return to Chelsea next season, whoever is in charge, will have Premier-League-ready young men (Wilkins-ism), prepared to achieve at the top levels of football.
Finally the blueprint for a successful Chelsea Academy is there for all to see. It`s about loaning these boys to teams that play at a decent level.
By comparison Dominic Solanke left Chelsea to join Liverpool believing he`d get more chance of first team football. Since joining them he`s made just one start in the EFL Cup. He`s not scored and he`s made no assists. He has played in the Premier League but only from the bench. His impact has been minimal.
None of that is to denigrate his desire to achieve his dream, he has to decide the path he thinks best suits him. You can`t help but think he could have shown more patience though.
Of course, this all brings us back to those 'kids` that remain in Chelsea`s ranks. Charly Musonda, Ethan Ampadu, Kenedy and the like, they would do well to look closely at Loftus-Cheek, Abraham and Solanke before deciding where they want their future to be.
Could it really be that Michael Emanalo`s parting gesture as he walks away from Chelsea having garnered criticism from all corners, is a Chelsea academy that actually works.