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Why Chelsea Actually Have One Of Europe’s Most Successful Youth Systems

Chelsea’s transfer policies has been a popular topic for rival fans to be disgruntled about over the last few seasons.

Jose Mourinho, along other managers at the club, have made some interesting transfers in and out of Stamford Bridge, Their connection with Dutch outfit Vitesse Arnhem has been criticised, but it was interesting to see Arsenal star Hector Bellerin publicly talk against their London rivals work in the market last week.

The Spaniard, who was signed from Barcelona in 2011, developed and eventually came through the Arsenal academy, and believes that it is the correct way to run a football club.

“The fans rate that Arsenal don’t just buy players, they make them the players they are,” Bellerin told Arsenal’s official site.

Arsenal fans are really proud of that and I think that’s a great thing.

Chelsea have an impressive youth academy, where players such as Isiah Brown, Lewis Baker and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have grown, but Loftus-Cheek is the only player who has seen first team action in recent months, but after being blasted by Mourinho for his laziness in a post-season fixture, it is unlikely the English midfielder will see regular football with the likes of Oscar and Eden Hazard.

Chelsea are ruthlessly harsh when it comes to financial matters.

Thorgan Hazard for an example, was bought at the same time Chelsea bought Eden Hazard from Lille, and was sent to Zulte Waregem in Belgium to “develop”.

Undoubtedly, Hazard did grow during his time in Belgium, being one of the more prominent players and even acquiring the captain’s armband briefly, but Chelsea, in this writer’s eyes, never intended to utilise Hazard. Next was his loan move to Borussia Mönchengladbach, where, although he didn’t always start, did well enough to earn a permanent deal.

Here is where Bellerin’s point falters. I, like many other fans, agree that a certain number of players in the team should be home-grown, from the academy, and it is not fair to Chelsea’s talented youngsters that they do not get to progress at the club they have played with since they were young. However, Chelsea’s transfer policy, whilst frustrating, is quite a clever one.

The Thorgan Hazard deal gave the club a 1500% mark-up on their sale, having bought for a mere €500,000 and selling for a colossal €8m (in comparison).

There have been far and few mistakes with this sell-on policy, the one error was clearly the sale of Kevin de Bruyne. Unable to flourish due to a backlog of players in his position and not truly being given the opportunity to display his worth, Mourinho’s lazy excuse that he didn’t work hard enough, before concluding he had no place in his squad, was a quite frankly stupid decision.

The Belgian has flourished at Wolfsburg, earning the Bundesliga’s player of the season award, and has Manchester City and Bayern Munich inquiring about his services.

Even Mourinho’s own star, Eden Hazard, disagreed with his manager’s decision.

 He is a great player. Mourinho decided to let him go and not play him. It was not my decision, even though I know very well that he could play at Chelsea because he has tremendous qualities.

The pro’s outweigh the cons as aforementioned, though. The sale of Romelu Lukaku for €28m proved to be shrewd business from the Portuguese and his team, as well as the inflated €37m fee for Juan Mata.

Vitesse Arnhem are still used as a dumping ground for Chelsea’s unwanted goods, unfortunately. English prodigy Lewis Baker has just been sent out on loan for the season in Belgium, whilst the club still have the likes of Marko Marin and Victor Moses on their books.

Arsenal’s academy may be one to admire, but Chelsea’s policies and strategies have reaped quite a few benefits and is certainly more effective than Manchester City’s policy of the short-term approach, such as the Wilfried Bony transfer. It was a thoughtless move, which was only made as a stop-gap for the short-term,  as pointed out by the Telegraph’s Paul Hayward.

Whatever your opinions on the matter, Chelsea have the proof to say it’s one of Europe’s more successful systems.
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Author: The PA Team

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