Villas-Boas’ youth revolution at Chelsea

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When Andre Villas-Boas took charge of Chelsea in June, it was expected that he would oversee a massive clearout of the Chelsea first team with eight players over 30.

The west London club were linked with a host of Villas-Boas' former players at Porto, such as Falcao, Hulk, and Joao Moutinho. There were the rumours that Chelsea would finally pull the trigger on a deal for Neymar, who they'd been tracking for more than a year.

There were rumours that owner Roman Abramovich wanted to right the mistake he made two summers ago in missing out on then £13 million Wesley Sneijder, and make a move for the Dutch star this summer.

That rumour gave way to the chase for Luka Modric, and the rumours of a host of midfield playmakers. Palermo's £44 million rated Javier Pastore has been linked with a move to Chelsea throughout the summer.


But these glamourous rumours don't quite match up with the philosophy that Villas-Boas has followed in his short time in charge of Stamford Bridge so far.

Villas-Boas, at the moment, seems to be content with a squad that has an average age closer to 30 than 25 and didn't bring home any silverware last season.

That's because, it would seem, Villas-Boas has a plan. And it's for the future. Rather than a raft of £40 million headline transfers, the Portuguese boss has been moving for younger players to add to Chelsea's small core of players for the future.

Chelsea brass have done some work on their own in bringing in younger talent in the past year in acquiring Ramires and David Luiz to add to Josh McEachran, Gael Kakuta, and Patrick van Aanholt.

But Villas-Boas wants more. And that's evident in the way he's done business so far this summer. The only player that Chelsea have come close to signing is 19-year-old Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from Genk.

That deal has yet to be confirmed, according to Villas-Boas, but the clubs have agreed terms and the player has passed a medical. Things are so advanced in this deal that the Belgian's future is already being discussed.

At just 19, and with Petr Cech, 29 still having a number of years in front of him, strong rumours suggest Courtois will be sent out on loan to Atletico Madrid for at least a season. Courtois himself said he may spend as many as three years on loan before taking the reigns at Stamford Bridge.

It's also understood that Chelsea have put in a bid for another Belgian wonderkid, Romelu Lukaku. The 18-year-old has been called "the next Drogba" because of his size, speed, power, and finishing abilities. On top of that, Chelsea's Didier Drogba is his favourite player.

The Blues have been tracking the Belgian since he made his debut for Anderlecht as a 16-year old two years ago. With 31 goals in 71 appearances, Lukaku has attracted attention from the biggest clubs in the world, although it's understood he has his heart set on joining the Villas-Boas revolution at Chelsea.

The latest player Villas-Boas is believed to have identified is Oriol Romeu. A 19-year-old product of Barcelona's famed La Masia youth academy, the defensive midfielder has represented Spain at the U17, U19, and U20 levels and made his La Liga debut this past May.

Chelsea are believed to be close to a deal with Barcelona for Romeu in the realm of £4 million. If they're successful, it will be another signing from Villas-Boas with an eye towards the future.

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