Chelsea maintain young transfer ambitions

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Andre Villas-Boas has changed many things since his arrival at Stamford Bridge, looking to mold the club around his philosophies of football.

Whilst an attacking, free-flowing style of play represents one obvious change, a desire to sprinkle young talent throughout the side is perhaps a move which is slightly more subtle.

Some big-money moves drew obvious headlines during the summer, with Belgian international Romelu Lukaku and Spanish winger Juan Mata commanding large fees for a move to Stamford Bridge.

Oriol Romeu's move to west London from Barcelona didn't exactly go under the radar, but was far less publicised, whilst the signing of 19-year-old Thibaut Courtois was a clear signal of intent.


The teenager is enjoying a loan spell with Atletico Madrid following his move from Genk (he has played seven games and is earning rave reviews), but will be a keen watcher when his former club meets new employer in the Champions League tomorrow night.

Former teammate Kevin de Bruyne was another linked with a move to the Blues from Genk, and even spoke out against his club after a possible move was blocked by the Belgians.

The 19-year-old is likely to line-up in an attacking midfield position against the Blues, and AVB admits he's continued to follow the talented teen over a possible move in the future.

"De Bruyne has always been an interesting player. He can play in several positions, wide left or in central midfield, and is exceptionally gifted technically," said the Chelsea boss in his pre-match press conference.

"He reminds me of the older Belgian players like Enzo Scifo. As you know we scouted Kevin, but we have scouted many players. It doesn't mean they will all join us."

Chelsea watching De Bruyne's progress. (©GettyImages)

Of those players Villas-Boas has sent his team to scout, an intelligent guess would suggest the majority are in a young age bracket.

A quick run through of players linked with a move to the English capital in the British press hints as much, with Argentine striker Lucas Ariel Ocampos (17), Chilean defender Igor Lichnovsky (17), England youth international Oluwaseyi Ojo (14) and Everton midfielder Ross Barkley (17) all reportedly on the Chelsea radar.

If chairman Bruce Buck's claim that Villas-Boas can be manager for 10 to 15 years is to be believed, then the 34-year-old is already creating a crop of players capable of replacing the likes of Lampard, Terry, Drogba & Co. when their time at Stamford Bridge comes to an end.

The spending on young players appears to show no signs of stopping, a probability which suggests exciting times lie ahead for Chelsea fans under the guidance of the charismatic former Porto boss.

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