Contribution by Adam Jones
It’s well known that Chelsea’s youth academy has produced some fantastic players over the past few years.
The club were ridiculed under Jose Mourinho for not utilising their youth players enough.
However, with the introduction of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi into the senior squad, they are now starting to integrate younger players in to their team.
Ethan Ampadu, who is a promising teenager that was signed from Exeter City, has featured a couple of times for the first team this season. However, he needs to play more if he’s to fulfil the great potential that he has.
However, the fact that Chelsea still have over 40 players out on loan, is in my view, unacceptable. A lot of these players are young academy prospects.
Matt Miazga and Lewis Baker have come on loan to the team I support, Reading Football Club. They have proved to be very useful assets to the football club, having made a big impact since their arrivals in January. It’s getting to the stage in their careers where they simply have to move on to further their career. It’s a credit to Chelsea Football Club that they’ve managed to produce a talent such as Baker, but it’s surely time for the club to let him and Miazga go in the summer for the sake of their careers.
The same goes for Mario Pasalic (age 24), Kenneth Omeruo, Todd Kane, Lucas Piazon (all age 25) and Michael Hector (age 26) who clearly won’t make the cut to be in Chelsea’s first eleven any time soon. All of those listed are decent players, they need to move away from Chelsea for their own sake. It will also give the club the chance to make money from these fringe players who would just be sat on the side-lines at Stamford Bridge anyway.
I can understand players like Tammy Abraham going out on loan several times. This is because he quite clearly has the potential to be in the first team squad for Chelsea when he develops more. However, players who are going out on loan at 23/24/25 years of age need to consider whether they want to take the jump of moving on to a different club for their own sake.
Even players like Izzy Brown and Kasey Palmer, who are 22, must be considering moving on after not getting the opportunity to perform regularly for the first team.
This isn’t even considering players like Victor Moses, Eduardo, Baba Rahman, Kurt Zouma, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Kenedy, Michy Batshuayi and Alvaro Morata are also out on loan. All of these players must be earning a very high wage considering how senior they are. When these players all come back from their loans, it will leave Chelsea with a huge wage bill, which they’ll be able to afford. However, that’s not the point.
Players like Kurt Zouma can be used by Chelsea as a squad rotation player. Perhaps you could say the same for all of those players listed above in the previous paragraph. Either way, Chelsea should look to sort this out in the summer, for the sake of being morally correct.
Maurizio Sarri has a huge job on his hands next season if he’s to deal with all of these players coming back on loan at the end of the season. The club have the chance to generate a lot of revenue from players they don’t need in the summer. However, they may choose to hold on to these players if the bids that come in for them aren’t satisfactory. Chelsea are in no position where they need to sell, they have Roman Abramovich and his funding behind the club.
However, now is the time to sort out this issue of having an excessive number of players at the club. They have been ridiculed for it over the past couple of seasons. Now is the time to sort it by selling and integrating.