Arnesen defends development record

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Football News

Chelsea sporting director Frank Arnesen has defended his record at Stamford Bridge and insists the club will start to see the benefits of his work with the youth academy from next year onwards.

The Dane joined Chelsea in 2005 and the Blues spent comparatively large sums to bring in teenagers to their academy from other clubs, but as yet none of the players recruited or developed since Arnesen came on board have become first-team regulars.

Arnesen, who denied there was any arrangement for him to develop two players a year from the academy to join the senior squad, told Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende: "It is clearly laid out in our long time planning for 2004 to 2014 - after which we aim to be self-financed - that from 2010 and onwards our top priority is to introduce one player [per year] into the Premiership squad. But that is from 2010."

He added: "It was never the objective that I should be delivering two talents for the best team from 2007 on a yearly basis. I don't know how that misunderstanding has surfaced.

"You don't create talents at the assembly line. Patience is a virtue. In a top club like Chelsea you do not waltz into the team at the age of 18-19 years."

Among the club's recruits under Arnesen were Michael Woods and Tom Taiwo from Leeds for £5million. Taiwo was sent on loan to Carlisle last month and Woods has made just two substitute appearances in the FA Cup.

Franco di Santo, 20, cost £3million from Chilean side Audax Italiano in January 2008 but has yet to start a first-team game while another Arnesen recruit, Slovakian midfielder Miroslav Stoch, has been loaned out to Dutch side FC Twente.

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Tom Taiwo
Michael Woods
Miroslav Stoch
Premier League
Carlisle United
Franco Di Santo
FA Cup
Leeds United

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