Over the last 4-5 years or so, Chelsea have become synonymous with stock-piling talent from around the globe, and then loaning them out multiple times before selling them on. It is something that many have taken issue with, but never really worked out why they do it since none of these players ever get a sniff of first team football.
In the latest window, they loaned out, either for 6 months or a season (or 3 seasons in the case of Juan Cuadrado) a total of 38 players, which is a disgusting amount when you consider their Under 18’s and Reserve team are among the most successful in the country, but don’t use many of these players – they are kind of in a void space between the senior squad and the 2nd team.
I have however – found a potential reason for their system. And that is easy profit! It’s simple, buy the best talents from around the globe, loan them out to see if they are any good – in the meantime taking in a six to seven figure loan sum, and at the end of it, if it looks like they are improving – loan them out to a bigger team, take another loan fee – and repeat until they can sell them for a huge sum (and then probably buy them back 2 years later for a stupidly high fee.
If you look at the list of players loaned at, and to which clubs – you will see one thing. At least 15-18 players that would demand a £1m loan fee or more, and the rest either going to feeder clubs like Vitesse, or averaging a fee of around £500,000. Having looked at the majority of the loan deals done – I can safely say these are desirable players that teams are willing to spend 7 figures on for a season loan, so even averaging things out, Chelsea are going to be making a shed load of money!
To start with in England, they have Loic Remy at Stoke, Patrick Bamford at Burnley, Nathan Ake at Bournemouth, Christian Atsu at Newcastle, Tammy Abraham at Bristol City, Kalas & Piazon at Fulham, Kasey Palmer at Huddersfield and Isiah Brown at Rotherham. At Premier League level, I’d say those players are going to be costing the clubs around £1.5-2m, while Newcastle are going to be paying at least £1m for Atsu, the most recent ACON Player of the Tournament. Tammy Abraham is looking a top talent, and would be upwards of £750k for the season.
Abroad, Vitesse have Nathan Baker, Nathan, and Matt Miazga – and are probably not paying too much since they have a strong relationship with the London club. Ajax have loaned out Bertrand Traore to Ajax, with a 7 figure sum banded around. Further afield in Germany, Baba Rahman, Andreas Christensen and Michael Hector are playing for the likes of Schalke and Monchengladbach, and outside of that the likes of Boga, Musonda and Omeruo are in Spain and Turkey.
38 players, and for me nearly 20 that would command a 7 figure sum. I can easily say that Chelsea will be raking in the best part of £25-30m for these loanees, and with the potential for a few to be sold.
Atsu has a permanent clause in his Newcastle contract – one I feel will be taken up should he do well. Andreas Christensen is one that Monchengladbach have had for a few years and are keen on signing him on a permanent deal for around the £15m mark. Cuadrado is on a 3 year loan at Juventus – which I’d think is costing them the best part of £10m for the 36 month spell.
It certainly splits opinion – but I really don’t like it. These players will know that the chance of them actually appearing for Chelsea is as likely as me getting a date with Cheryl Cole/Fernandez-Versini (and whoever the next husband is going to be). Some of these lads are on their 5th loan spell, and going from coach to coach, differing systems etc will not be good for them.
Atsu is a great example of someone who shouldn’t have come – Cup of Nations Player ofr the Tournament, tearing it up in Portugal, he has since appeared no more than 40 or 50 times in the last 3-4 seasons since signing as a talented 20 year old. He should flourish at Newcastle under Benitez. Marco van Ginkel is another – really impressive for Vitesse, signed for £8m and barely used since – he scored 8 in 16 for PSV last season, while also having loan spells at Stoke and AC Milan.
Kalas was different class for Middlesbrough over the last two seasons, and is another never likely to see another first team game for the Blues, while Lucas Piazon was the latest wonderkid from Brazil, but is on his 5th loan, having impressed with Reading last season, and Vitesse a few before.
Dominic Solanke and Isaiah Brown are two English kids that are highly rated, but again despite this there is more chance that Chelsea will splash £30m on someone like Michy Batshuayi than give a youngster a chance. Bamford scored freely at Championship level, but even if he impresses at Burnley, is more likely to be sold on for an extortionate fee that be used, while Tammy Abraham is impressing at Bristol City, but will see his chances limited.
It’s quite hard to see why these youngsters join the club – a little research and observation from even their parents would lead to them seeing all of this. Chelsea are running their youth systems like a business – and although it is seemingly profitable, and helps them to keep the books balanced, it certainly lacks any moral, but where money is involved, that is always a swaying factor!
These kids are sold the dream of playing for a Premier League team, when in reality the closest they will actually be is simply being registered as their player. It’s a horrid operation, and something that the FIFA should look into as it is wrong! Fortunately, the number of youngsters cottoning on to it in increasing – the likes of Ante Coric has turned down a Premier League move in order to develop somewhere with first team football.
That, hopefully – will catch on, players and parents alike will see the shining light of common sense and sign for a team offering more playing time and a little less money.
It’s actually very funny, the irony that Chelsea are more likely to sell them on, only to buy them back for millions more, than actually use them in the first place whilst owning them. Another example of an English club blatantly trying to stockpile the best young players from around the globe, and extorting clubs to borrow them for a short period.
Unfortunately, this is just another of the many dark sides of the sport we love!