What do I mean?
Well, the super clubs of the English Premier League have been gathering up and hoarding the best of the young talent available.
No, it’s not just a Chelsea thing!
Jaydon Sancho, the hottest property to have developed in Germany and now considered a regular for England was sold for peanuts. I notice that there was no clamber to ridicule Manchester City but because Callum Hudson-Odoi wants to follow one of his best mates into the Bundesliga, all of a sudden Chelsea become the pariah of the EPL and is letting the best of its youth Academy to foreign shores. And whilst Sancho went for peanuts Chelsea have already declined an offer of £35M.
Manchester City have also recently been forced to sell Diaz to Real Madrid (who have already given a youngster his debut). Are Manchester City mad? It’s a world that has changed and needs must. Manchester City have Foden who they rarely play because the first team squad is so strong. What should they do, sell him too? Time will tell.
No, not at all. This is the new era where the leagues like the Bundesliga having failed to invest in their youth product are now trying to play catch up. Is it a coincidence that the best of the Galacticos are leaving Real Madrid and they don’t have anyone to pluck from their own academy.
What these foreign teams are promising the youngster from the Premier League is the immediate recognition and elevation to their first teams. Hardly rocket science when you realise that Ribery and Robben (a Chelsea Great BTW) are about to leave.
I wonder if these promises will hold water when they realise that these youngsters are not ready for the top tier yet.
So what should we do?
I would humbly suggest that a club such as my beloved Chelsea thinks about this a little longer term. The managers always seem under pressure to succeed immediately and they feel that the only way to do it is to buy seasoned professionals. This is a fallacy, a rope-a-dope and obviously based on self-preservation.
I would humbly suggest that based on a 25-man squad, we apply the well-worn adage of having, in general, two players for each position. The only difference is that the managers are compelled to pick a youth Academy product for every position. I hope I’m making some sense here! This way we are grooming the youngster to the future roles and stardom. This way too, we can cater for future changes to quotas and possibly have a balanced split when picking teams.
You see, a well-balanced team with a core of local or English teams could have produced a team such as my best ever as below:
Or if you apply my suggestion for the present Chelsea players you could end up with a 25 man squad (the backup players in brackets) as below;
• Kepa (Bulka)
• Azpilicueta (James Reece)
• Rudiger (Christensen)
• Luiz (Tomori)
• Emerson (Ola Aina)
• Kante (Barkley)
• Jorginho (Ampadu)
• Kovacic (Mount)
• Pedro (Redan)
• Higuain (Loftus-Cheek)
• Hazard (Odoi)
I think this is the way to go, but what do you think?
Contribution by Navid Deen
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