For years now Chelsea have neglected their academy system with John Terry proving one of very few graduates to reach the first team.
This glaring issue has been brushed under the carpet amidst Chelsea’s continued success in recent years. However, with the Blues in a rut this campaign, this blatant flaw is beginning to surface once again.
The Stamford Bridge side cannot hope to secure a stable future at the top if they are relying on the lottery of the transfer window. Moreover, if they continue to underuse the system then more young talent will persist to slip through their fingers.
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Whilst Chelsea are far from alone with their underuse of their academy, they prove a particularly prominent case study.
Their skipper remains an anomaly and even so, Terry graduated in the past millennium. Chelsea fans should certainly be concerned.
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This season has seen improvements with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kenedy battling their way into the first team but its taken mid-table dwellings to prompt this change.
It seems Chelsea are keener to offload currency into the transfer window as opposed to turning to their academy. Consequently, a large bulk of youthful talent is being denied even the chance to shine in a Blue jersey.
The astonishing amount of players Chelsea have out on loan is highly publicised yet the club have just recently confirmed the signing of Alexandre Pato on loan until the end of the season.
If the club is going to be led by financial brawn then there seems little point in Chelsea loaning out so many players in the first place. Players such as Patrick Bamford must be worried looking back at how Josh McEachran and Thorgen Hazard faired.
Besides, above all, Chelsea would improve if they used their academy more. The debacle of this season finely demonstrates how players may possess a hearty reputation but contradictory form.
The Blues should turn to their academy or the plethora of players out on loan to help save their season and not risk big money signings.
Academy graduates will have been thoroughly assessed by staff at the club, so Chelsea would know exactly what they were getting. On the contrary, signings give no guarantee especially if they have no prior Premier League experience.
Moreover, the sales of Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne shows how erratic Chelsea are in the transfer window.
With the club in such dire straits they should stick with what they know and an injection of youth would give the Blues an extra dimension.
Chelsea have appeared laboured in recent showings so the additions of academy players would add invention and passion to the side.
Players such as Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas know they will be in the team week in, week out but Loftus-Cheek and co. add desire because they know they need to perform. The youth players wield more of an incentive.
Consequently, Chelsea should no longer ignore the fight and battle these adolescent stars they possess.
The Blues have done little but abuse their academy in recent years and upon slowly reviving it this campaign, success is creeping back. Chelsea should use their youth system more to not only save money and add invention, but ensure they don’t allow new and upcoming stars to evade their grasp.
Should Guus Hiddink inject more youth into the side? Have YOUR say in the comment box below!