How many football clubs have enjoyed the success of producing and transitioning young talents onto their first team like Barcelona and Ajax? Put your hand up! Realistically very few. Even Real Madrid’s Castilla, Barca’s La Masia, Manchester United’s Threatre of Dreams and even that of Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, Manchester City and PSG can no longer boast of such feat.
Football is business and whichever a club deems fit to sell its brand and increase revenues should be acceptable is done legally. Recent criticisms of Chelsea youth loan policy is hypocrisy considering the people lashing out at the club. The new strategy for most top clubs is to buy talents and sell them at a higher value to make profit. You cannot blame the clubs but the demanding nature of football.
The power of the shift in football is the real damage to youth structure. Football is now more result-oriented and so managers re unwilling to try out the rookies where they can save their jobs with more experienced players. Club owners lack the patience to endure a winless streak or trophyless period at their respective clubs.
In the league, it is worthy to note that while Chelsea have racked up more cash in player sales, we’ve also been outspent by the Manchester Clubs, of which United have Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard as first team players. City have no academy graduate in the first eleven. Arsenal’s days of producing young talents is still having just Theo Walcott (who isn’t a regular), Alex Iwobi and Hector Bellerin. Liverpool have Woodburn and Arnold as their best. Spurs have Rose, Harry Keane and Harry Winks. Where have Chelsea gone wrong? The likes of Musonda, Baker, Boga, Isaiah Brown, Van Ginkel and Pasalic, just to mention a few, are a work in progress. The aforementioned big clubs do what Chelsea do, but not as pronounced as we do. We groom these players elsewhere and if they’re good enough we expect them to fight for a first team place like Christensen is doing this season. If Chelsea decide to put faith and field majority of our academy players in the starting elven and first team, do the fans expect the club to win silverware?
Trust me the same media and pundits critics will lash out at us when results are poor. Until the pressure of the football world melts down on managers and the demand for instant and continuous success, then the issue of producing young talents will not only be a Chelsea problem but that of many big clubs all over the world.
Let’s look before we leap. Cheers!