New Blues boss is in it for the long haul

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Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas it looking towards the future of the club by focusing on young blue talent, in the hope of securing an organic future for Stamford Bridge.

His plan is to develop young players into first team candidates, citing the likes of Daniel Sturridge as holding the key to Chelsea's next generation.

The manager's three predecessors lasted no more than two seasons each, but Villas-Boas is looking far into the blue yonder.

"The market we have moved into and the players we have shown an interest in are all young and you might see similar moves in the future from us," he said. "The squad is old, one of the oldest squads in the Premiership."

Frank Lampard, John Terry, Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda, Yossi Benayoun, and Paulo Ferreira are all in their thirties, but the new manager has been busy preparing Stamford Bridge's flower beds for seedlings.

"We respect these players and are happy enough with the quality they have to push for titles but we are also looking at options for the future. Josh [McEachran] is an example of that," he added.

"We are very happy with the amount of talent we are getting from our academy. If you see the amount of young players we have brought here, then that is a sign of our progress. We have brought a 16-year-old in Nathaniel Chalobah, Josh is 18, while Ryan Bertrand [21], Patrick van Aanholt [20] and Billy Clifford [18] are all here.

"For all these young boys, the biggest step they will take is making the grade from the reserve to the first team. We can look into the future and say that a couple of them will make that step without having to gain loan experience. That is good for us."


Looking to make his move from the nursery to the Chelsea greenhouse is Daniel Sturridge, who has grown as a player during his time on loan at Bolton Wanderers. The 21-year-old striker has performed well in preseason, scoring against Hong Kong side Kitchee SC in the Asia Cup.

"Daniel deserved to come back to this club and have his pre-season with us," said Villas-Boas. "This is the group where he belongs and here he has shown the same quality he did at Bolton. He has amazing qualities. We will make a decision soon and inform him of his prospects."

The young manager Villas-Boas is also keen on 18-year-old Belgian Romelu Lukaku who has been showing real promise for Jupiler Pro League side Anderlecht and for his country.

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