In recent years, Chelsea academy have produced promising youngsters with relative ease, but creating a pathway for them into the senior team is one Chelsea and all their managers over the past decade haven’t yet discovered (apart from Roberto Di Matteo who took the risk on Ryan Bertrand).
Nathaniel Chalobah is a buzzing midfielder and his performance for England in the U21s Championship has once again exposed the talent of the 22-year-old, but he has not bloomed at Chelsea and might be on his way out of the club, with just one year left on his contract.
Daily Star columnist Jeremy Cross believes that the only reason Chalobah hasn’t yet broken into the Chelsea team is because he’s from the Chelsea academy.
He wrote for the Daily Star: “Chalobah appears to be the complete footballer. He’s athletic, versatile, powerful and has remarkable endurance.
“He can score goals. He can stop them. He can dominate midfield and run a match when he puts his mind to it.
“But the problem for Chalobah is, he also can’t get a regular game – no matter how much he impresses his bosses.
“That’s because Chalobah belongs to Chelsea, the club that has mastered the art of stifling English talent to the point where it has become a standing joke.”
He then revealed that England boss Gareth Southgate is a fan of the 22-year-old but cannot feature him because of his lack of game time.
He continued: “You won’t be surprised to learn that Chalobah has excelled when given regular first team football elsewhere.
“One of his biggest fans also happens to be a certain Gareth Southgate.
“The England manager would love to include him in one of his squads, because Chalobah has the potential to solve a huge problem the Three Lions have in the area of defensive midfield.
“But how can he when Chalobah is sat twiddling his thumbs at Stamford Bridge?”
Cross then added that the best thing Conte can do for Chalobah is to let him leave.
He wrote: “At his age, Chalobah could have had 20-odd caps under his belt by now and the comparison in circumstances highlight a glaring issue the English game needs to address.
“Conte has done a lot for English football since taking charge of the Blues, but perhaps the best thing he can do is let Chalobah leave so he can go and find himself at a club that will cherish and appreciate his talents.”