In the modern game, a time where professionals tend to take far more care of their bodies and medical science has evolved to a stage whereby physical limitations and injuries are managed on a far more professional basis, should Chelsea take a second look at the club policy that only offers those over 30 a new one-year deal?
Plus, whilst we’re at it, is it indeed a policy that only applies to those already on the club books as opposed to new signings.
The reason I’ve chosen to address this particular topic is that, once again, a media vehicle, this time the Evening Standard, has picked up on the inference that Chelsea could lose their Brazilian winger / forward, Willian if the 30+ policy is adhered to. With his contract expiring in 18 months, Willian is looking towards the club to move away from its policy of only awarding a one-year deal, a situation that David Luiz is also facing, to award him a longer deal.
But, whilst those who are currently at the club seem to be restricted by the policy, you have to ask whether it is a different agenda for those who are signed who are already the wrong side of 30?
Although some players, over 30, are only too willing to snap up the offer of a year on our books, recent January transfer window signings have seen the club bring in experienced, as opposed to ageing, players.
Last January, Olivier Giroud was brought to Stamford Bridge, from Arsenal, now I seriously doubt whether Giroud, who is now 32-years-of-age, was offered a one-year deal.
Similarly, this January, the club brought in 31-year-old Gonzalo Higuain. Okay, the deal is initially a loan deal until the end of the season, but if he continues to score as prolifically as he has done throughout his career, Chelsea will want to make the deal a permanent one, if Juventus are ready to sanction a sale. But, as was the case with Giroud, I seriously doubt whether Higuain would put pen-to-paper on a one-year deal.
Now, on the surface, the word hypocrisy springs to mind but, then again, I do, despite my protestations, accept the club has to have rules, the same rules that saw the legends that are John Terry and Frank Lampard abide by.
However, returning to my opening gambit of the first paragraph of this article, should Chelsea relax the new contract criteria if a player is a valued member of the first-team squad and treat it as a case-by-case thing or would that open another can of worms?
Here at Vital Chelsea, we’d value your input on this particular subject matter, please feel free to drop your views into the comment facility beneath this article.
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