Chelsea scout Piet de Visser has revealed his frustrations at being unable to land the best young players coming out of France, and admitted that the club tried and failed to sign the likes of Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi and Yohan Cabaye.
The Daily Express reports how De Visser, who works closely with Roman Abramovich in order to aid him in his search for the brightest young talents in the world, is still bitter over the fact that Chelsea have seemingly been unable to tap into the recent flow of excellent prospects coming out of France, despite the fact that the Blues have a fabled network of youngsters already on their books. The likes of Thibaut Courtois - who will return to Stamford Bridge this summer following a three year loan at Atletico Madrid -, Romelu Lukaku and young centre back Tomas Kalas are all proof of the impressive youth system at Stamford Bridge, but it would appear that De Visser remains unsatisfied.
“I am still sick we never got the best young midfielders out of France. France is producing wonderful players," he said.
“Their midfielders are real gems. I tried so hard to recruit Yohan Cabaye, Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi. We did not succeed. I have known those players from when they were young boys.
“They could now prove to be the best midfielders in the world and guide France to the World Cup."
One glance at the recent form of the French trio is enough to tell you that De Visser has a point. Since leaving Manchester United in order to earn his big break Paul Pogba has developed into one of the most accomplished midfielders in European football, and his recently devised price tag of £60million speaks volumes over the worth he could have been to Abramovich in west London.
Likewise Cabaye has also seen his stock dramatically rise in the last two years, particularly since his January switch from Newcastle to Paris Saint-Germain. Though perhaps not fawned upon in the same manner as Pogba, he became a household name in the Premier League whilst on Tyneside, and it’s no wonder that he is currently plying his trade for his national side at the World Cup.
Then there’s Matuidi, who has in fact been linked with a move to Chelsea in recent months. The diminutive playmaker remains a PSG player for now, but the ever-changing dynamics of Laurent Blanc’s squad at the Parc des Princes mean that he could well be on the move in the future. Of course if he were to end up with Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge it would be for a far higher sum than would have initially been the case if De Visser had managed to get him onboard at an early age.
With the likes of Oscar, Lukaku and Courtois all blossoming into fine players Chelsea won’t have too much to worry about. One might wonder though whether or not the club would have been forced to shell out around £30million for Francesc Fabregas, had they had a Pogba, Matuidi or Cabaye waiting in the wings to replace Frank Lampard.