Are we wasting talent?
This week has seen comments from Gael Kakuta hit the headlines. Whilst some of the comments have been taken out of context and crucial ...
This week has seen comments from Gael Kakuta hit the headlines. Whilst some of the comments have been taken out of context and crucial comments left out to say that he does not regret his time at Chelsea it does again raise the issue of Chelsea bringing through young talent.
Chelsea are in a position this summer where there are a number of young talents that can come into the squad. The question is can we bring them in and develop them in our first team.
Lukaku, DeBruyne, Courtois, Chalobah, McEachran, Wallace and Van Aanholt are just a number of players who can do a job and grow into top class players for our first team but we do not have a good track record and we do tend to dismiss players too easily.
Jack Cork is a player who is doing very well at Southampton and always looked a decent player, but he was shipped off without a chance in our first team and now we look at him and think he could be doing a job for us at the moment.
Miroalav Stoch is another player who is showing himself to be a very useful player at a top level. Even when he was at Chelsea he had huge potential, but once again a couple of first team appearances and he is moved on. I am sure everyone remembers his first team games because he made a very good impact but not good enough apparently.
Gokhan Tore was a player who looked as though he had all the right attributes to play at the highest level, strength, skill and speed. But once again he is moved on and is showing himself to be a very good player.
Not too long ago I would have said that there is no way that McEachran and Kakuta would not make it in our first team but that is looking a very real possibility and raises serious questions over our ability to take talent into our first team.
We are far too ready to bring in players for a fee who are not as talented and certainly don't have the same level of potential. Bringing in players like Benayoun and Marin or persist with players who are not going to improve or who have lost form but will continue to be played over a promising youngster, it is a worrying trend.
I worry that there is far too high of expectations on our young players. Among fans and as well as the board it seems if they are not world class then they are not good enough. They have to be as good as Hazard or Mata or we might as well give up. Yet we put a much lower level of quality assessment on our squad players that we bring in. Youngsters can start as squad players and grow into the team, but they have to be played. We have to allow the talent to grow not expect to go from a seed to a full grown flower overnight.
We have a wealth of talent on the cusp of the first team and in the lower age levels so this is something we have to get right now. This has to come from the highest level at the club, it has to be made clear that we must use our own talent and allow them to grow. We cannot allow such players like Kakuta to stagnate and then cast aside without giving him a real chance.
A lot of the young talent we have ready is not academy grown but we are still struggling with them, last season we did a good job of stalling the development of Lukaku and we could not find a way to use DeBruyne this season and those things are a worry.
Maybe if we had spent £30m on these players then they will get more of a chance because it seems we judge our players usefulness to the squad based on how much we have spent on them.
What we cannot afford to happen is for young players to see no way for them into the first team and look for the first opportunity out or to not be able to attract the top youngsters.
The talent is there for all to see, the excuse that the quality isn't there no longer applies I am afraid. The talent is there and we need to make sure that we do not waste it as we seem intent on doing at the moment.
Next season is vital I feel to our ability to bring through youngsters, bringing in new signings over youngsters should not happen. We need to leave the space in the squad to let them grow. Yet I fear for them because I worry it will be more of the same but I hope I am wrong.
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