Let us not wish away this stinking problem at Chelsea; the frustrations of our young players. It is on record that Kakuta would wish to move away from Chelsea (preferably Vitesse) due to the unfavorable reception he receives at the club. According to him, Vitesse recognizes, encourages and supports young talent; something which is apparently insufficient at Chelsea. If you missed his outburst, here is an extract
“I don’t dream about Chelsea anymore. Iused to, now I know better.”
“I hope I can join a club like Vitesse next season, where I can play every week.”
“Chelsea have far too many players. at my age I need to play regularly but if I go back I’ll just get 10 minutes a month and I don’t want that.”
According to me, that is a cry, not only from one youngster at the club but the whole lot of them. It is a cry for help for something that is working out horribly wrong against them. It is a cry that signifies the kind of management our youngsters receive at the club. So far, we have managed to suck the confidence levels out of these youngsters and it is something that should not be encouraged.
Before we blindly attack Kakuta, let us try to critically analyse his criticism. By doing so, I would like to pose a few questions for you to ponder about:
- Do our young players get game time? How often?
- Can a player develop without game time?
It is so obvious and regrettable that we prefer the “ready made” players rather than developing our own. A costly affair we love to love. We forget that prior to us noticing their talent, someone somewhere spent time, effort and resources nurturing and developing them to our liking. Some of the old players at Chelsea and some of the players we have successfully recruited, during both summer and winter transfer periods, are not any better than the young players present at the club. You doubt me? Help answer the following questions.
- Is Ba any better than Lukaku?
- Is Marin any better than Kakuta?
- Is Benayoun any better than Josh McEachran?
Their development boils down to how we manage these youngsters. Most of the time we have managed to stall their development rather than polishing their skills. Remember the Josh under Carlo? Now compare to what is left of him. Same to Lukaku. The Lukaku of last season is not the same impressive Lukaku we are seeing this season. What changed? Management? You guessed right.
If this trend persists, our ability to attract the best available youngsters in the world would gradually diminish and we will be left with the expensive and greedy players to fight for with the other teams despising youth development in their clubs. With the FFP coming into effect, a dark cloud looms at the Bridge. Let us hope for the better.