Chelsea have had a horrible season this time around. Not only the manager, but the players are also to be blamed for the horrendous performances we have witnessed. Yes, they are gaining back the momentum but if we talk about the initial stage of the league, the team had no ambitions, they lacked in every aspect; whether it be the defence or the attack.
Well, the season is gone, but they club’s youth team has given the fans a hope and a reason to cheer. Chelsea’s U-18 team has added another major trophy in their cabinet as the team has won the second consecutive UEFA Youth League.
Over the times, we have observed that Chelsea has never been the club for the youths. I don’t recognize many players from the youth system besides John Terry. The major destination for the youth would be Manchester United or Arsenal. Many of them would prefer Manchester United because their history speaks for themselves.
May be it’s the injuries, but the interim manager gave the youth players like Loftus-Cheek, Kennedy, Miazga their chances. But, what about the future? Antonio Conte will be arriving at the Bridge and the entire outlook of the team will be transformed. New players will arrive and some will depart; what about the youth then?
Talking about Manchester United, the Red Devils have been majorly praised for the club’s youth policy. May it be Alex Ferguson or Louis van Gaal; both have brought some young names up front. The Ferguson era is one that can never be forgotten. Giggs, Scholes, Butt, Beckham and the list goes on. Even the Dutch manager, who has been heavily criticized for his style of play, has given some raw diamonds like Lingard, Fosu-Mensah and Rashford. The players like these, enjoy their times on the pitch as they get a regular play time.
It is not in the case of Chelsea though, we saw Romelu Lukaku who was sold, they had Van Ginkel who enjoys most of his time as a loanee. The biggest example we have is of Kevin De Bruyne; the boy has destroyed PSG single-handedly. Chelsea is the club that has never been the fan of its youth policy. Managers also play a major role in bringing the talents up on the field. Jose Mourinho, be it 2004 or 2013; be it Real Madrid or Chelsea. He never came up with a player that has emerged under him. Yes, he gave the clubs a stage but never gave a talent for the future.
The right attitude towards the youth is what actually needed and Manchester United have been doing the same for years. The true potential of the player is seen when they are 15 or 16, but the future of the player is seen from the period of 16-19, in these three years the players are prepared mentally and then they start playing against more physical players. The player’s career is duly determined through his winning attitude and as his technical skills develops, a professional contract is made.
At the age of 20-22, if the player is not in the first team, his progress may hamper. And that is the actual policy of Manchester United while Chelsea depends on the senior squad. Everything has its pros and cons, but with all due respect, I personally feel that Chelsea should give more time in developing the youth stars juts like Manchester United or the likes of Arsenal, Southampton and Swansea does.