Since Roman Abramovic took over at Chelsea, they have become renowned for buying the best of the best, top performers of the time and talented youth players – and giving them little-to-no time to prove themselves, being sold on and then going on to rebuild their careers elsewhere. Players around the world must be a little apprehensive about joining, since they are more than likely going to be farmed out all over the Europe, and then get sold on. Other clubs have been guilty of such a culture, but Chelsea to us stand out as the worst.
I have felt the need to write this, with Mohamed Salah and Andre Schurrle likely to be sold/loaned out, and Juan Cuadrado being targetted. Here are a several examples:
1. Nemanja Matic – sold to Benfica as part of the David Luiz deal (valued at £2m), purchased back last season for a smudge over £20m
2. Kevin De Bruyne – brought in from Belgium as one of the biggest talents in world Football. Loaned out, given a couple of games, and sold on to Wolfsburg for a profit. He played 9 games in total, a mix of league, cup and European.
3. Mohamed Salah – after an incredible stint in Switzerland with Basel, Chelsea signed him up for a good wad of cash. He has played 18 games for Chelsea, and is likely to be moved on to make room for new players. Cost £11m.
4. Andre Schurrle – a world-cup winner, costing Chelsea around £18m. He has played 56 games, scoring 13 goals. But a lot of those as a sub.
5. Slobodan Rajkovic – a highly rated centre back who never appeared for the Blues. Farmed out to Holland in 3 spells, he was then sold to Hamburg, where he is doing well
6. Romelu Lukaku – brought in for a hefty fee, he was loaned out a few times to WBA and Everton, scoring over 30 goals in 2 seasons. After those 2 loan spells, he was given 3 games before being sold on for nearly £30m. Replaced by the man he was supposedly replacing, Drogba.
7. Marko Marin – brought in for £6.5m, he played a handful of games, before being loaned out to Spain, Italy and Belgium. Never really given a chance.
8. Jeffrey Bruma – a talented Centre Back – given roughly 9 games at Chelsea, and loaned out all over. Now impressing for PSV
9. Claudio Pizarro – despite being free, he, like Mateja Kezman, was only given a season. Left and has rebuilt his career with Bremen and Bayern proving what a good striker he is.
10. Patrick Van Aanholt – Signed as a teenager, a talented left back who spent all but 6 games away from Chelsea, scoring one goal for them. Left for Sunderland, and a full Dutch international.
These are just 10 good examples of wasted talent. There are many more youth players that were brought in for a lot of money and are still being loaned out all over. Roughly 50 players on loan. None likely to ever play for the team. They are like a child – gets a toy, plays with it once, and then gets something else. With that metaphor, Chelsea’s toybox is full, and those in there have more chance of being sold on, performing elsewhere and getting a move back in a few years than actually playing for them now. Suso and Pogba are two examples at varying stages of the Premier League rejection system – Pogba left for free and is now a world-superstar. Suso has left for AC Milan and I expect him to be back at some stage, even Liverpool fans are a upset about losing him.
Thorgan Hazard and Lucas Piazon are just two more that could end up like these. Both have impressed massively on loan abroad, but have barely played for Chelsea. There are examples of this system working, but for every one of those there is 20 others that have not made the grade. Lets hope Juan Cuadrado looks at the likes of Salah and Schurrle and thinks “Hmm, maybe somewhere else”. Hernan Crespo and Andriy Shevchenko went there for millions when they were at the top of their games, and were ruined by the ruthless pursuit of the perfect team.
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of Premier League teams do similar, but nowhere near on the scale of Chelsea. There is little patience for players nowadays, if they don’t hit the ground running they are living on borrowed time, but like with most foreign players – time is needed to adapt, and that unfortunately is rarely given. Kids are ripped away from their home countries, promised the world, and then have the rug pulled from beneath them. Some recover, others don’t. It’s the main problem in the Premier League!
Something needs to change, but I seriously doubt it will, as the FA seem to be fairly powerless, and a little gutless in most cases.