Chelsea’s new academy approach will see them miss out on the next Lukaku, Salah and De Bruyne – Scott Clayton

The most interesting thing to catch my eye from the 2021/22 summer transfer window was the way Chelsea did business on outgoings.

The club has dipped their toe in the option to buy back clauses on players in the past when selling academy talents, like Jeremie Boga, Bertrand Traore and Nathan Ake but with all three the club have passed up on the option to bring them back.

The club have sold some players in the past that they’ve wanted back. Romelu Lukaku signing this window is a prime example of a player that has sold with great potential and kicked on in their career, that the club have wanted to re-sign. To save the stress of negotiating a fee in the future, clauses have been added to a few players sold this window.

Since Roman Abramovich arrived and spent big, the first-team squad has always had great options throughout the squad. The club has been known for winning many academy trophies but struggled to get them trusted enough to be given a real shot in the first team.

Academy football is only good up to a certain point, then the gap from development football to play for the first team like Chelsea is a huge one. This is one of the reasons the club send players on loan to progress their abilities and get senior match experience.

This summer has seen players with bright futures from the academy that are ready for the next level decide to leave on permanent deals than go on loan.

The players that have left this window have seen two great examples in recent times in Tariq Lamptey to Brighton and Jamal Musiala to Bayern Munich. Both have proven themselves at their new clubs, instead of staying around waiting for a chance or sent on loan. Jamal Musiala left Chelsea instead of signing a scholarship with the club at 16.



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Jamal Musiala celebrates scoring for Bayern Munich

Two years into his time at Bayern and he’s in the Germany squad and playing more times than not for the first team weekly. He left days before Lampard joined and maybe if he didn’t leave he would have got close to the first team like Lamptey but it wouldn’t have been an easy task with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Mount in the first team and Tino Anjorin, and Harvey Vale and others fighting for academy places.

Chelsea loaned out Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi last season and sold both this summer fetching around £45m. For some fans, this will look like great business.

As an academy enthusiast, I’m not counting the money with a smile on my face. I still expect both of these will be worth double this fee in the future so it isn’t something to be proud of.

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Yes, we made some good money but for a business, you want to sell players at the optimum value. We didn’t do that with either when Ben White just cost £50m in the same window. The one thing we have in our favour with the Guehi deal is we have a clause to match other teams’ bids if and when big teams come sniffing in the future. I felt like this when we sold Romelu Lukaku, Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne.



Kevin De Bruyne leaves the pitch at Wembley
Kevin De Bruyne is one that got away.

Five development squad players turned down new deals this summer to potentially get away from being lost in the #LoanArmy and get into a side that will give them a chance in the first team. All five if on a long-term deal potentially would have gone on loan this summer and done well. Marcel Lewis turned down a new deal to join Belgian side Union Saint Gilloise.

Both captains of the Development squad last season left in Dynel Simeu and Lewis Bate. Simeu turned down a new offer to go back to Southampton where he was scouted by the club years ago. Bate with 12 months on his deal decided against a new deal. He had a good few offers but joined Leeds on a permanent deal. Myles Peart-Harris joined newly-promoted Brentford after turning down a new deal also with just 12 months left on his deal.

Academy player of the season Tino Livramento joined Southampton on a permanent deal. The club had been in talks about a new deal but the fact the club started getting linked to Hakimi didn’t help their case. Livramento spent the back end of the season in and around the first team in the effort to prove he did have a chance here.

He likely saw what Tariq Lamptey had done and decided it was best to cut ties and try and prove himself than a loan to a Championship-type side.



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Tariq Lamptey is one of the latest great academy players to leave and show his quality

As much as the academy and Tuchel will have plans for academy players, sadly it’s very hard to say yes, you will get a chance when talents like Gilmour, Gallagher and Anjorin have left this summer to go get games.

Tammy Abraham joined Roma this window not long after Chelsea spent big on bringing back a player they once had and paid a lot of money to bring back in Lukaku.

The club likely saw this as more reason to get an option to buy Abraham back in the future just in case. If Abraham continues to progress then this will help all three parties. Hopefully, he will keep progressing over the years and learn a lot under former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

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The last example I want to mention is the loan of Tino Anjorin to Lokomotiv Moscow. As of now, it’s just a loan deal but I very much doubt it’ll just end with that and I expect that this will be a permanent deal.

They set out for him to be the main player in the new project. Ralf Rangnick thinks he’s a similar level of talent and type of player to Kevin De Bruyne. They brought back a retired number ten for him that’s showing the statement they have for him. No way they’d do that for a six-month loan.

football.london journalist Adam Newson was ahead of everyone with this move and has written the details of this deal in a piece here. Lokomotiv Moscow can buy for £17m from January with Chelsea having an option to buy back at double what we will get for him if we sell.

It’s going to be interesting to see if instead of loaning +30 players out every season we start to sell with options to buy and letting them progress with stability. It’s very hard to predict how a footballer’s career will go. Players with great potential can struggle with so many factors in football like injuries, the uncertainty of managers, personal life problems and changes of tactics that don’t suit them but stability in the club will be a huge positive for players moving forward.

Chelsea have options in some way to buy back Guehi, Livramento, Anjorin and Abraham and it’s going to be a waiting game to see if the club activates them clauses or decides not to like others mentioned at the start of this piece.

The Chelsea academy will continually produce very good footballers. The setup is too good not to but the way we get them to the top and into the side might be slowly changing. There isn’t one way fits all, when it comes to getting players to the first team level at Chelsea.

The academy is trying hard to get more players good enough for the first team to join Christensen, James, Chalobah, Mount. Hudson-Odoi. This might be the next best thing to help give players a place they can call home for more than 12 months and be looked at as players the new club wants to progress.

Predict the future. Which Chelsea player mentioned in this article do you think Chelsea will resign in the future? Follow our new CareFreeChelsea Editor Scott (CarefreeYouth) on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source by Football London

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