Chelsea have three players to treat like Kai Havertz after Mauricio Pochettino transfer decision

What If? Pondering the Recent Decisions of Chelsea

What if, just what if? Two words that carry significant weight and yet remain somewhat trivial, often veiled in hindsight and reflection but also rooted firmly in reality. For Chelsea in recent years, these words can apply in numerous ways. What if Chelsea had pursued Aurelien Tchouameni more aggressively instead of opting for a loan deal with Saul Niguez? What if the club had placed a greater emphasis on Billy Gilmour and entrusted Carney Chukwuemeka in midfield instead of acquiring another temporary player like Denis Zakaria? Could Tammy Abraham have replicated Romelu Lukaku’s eight league goals in the 2021/22 season without the team crumbling around him? The questions are endless, and the decisions weigh heavily on the club.

Chelsea has encountered a series of missteps in their recent decision-making. Perhaps Kalidou Koulibaly wasn’t a better option than Fikayo Tomori during the twelve months that separated their moves to and from Stamford Bridge. Christian Pulisic’s prolonged tenure with the club raises questions, as does the enigmatic situation surrounding David Zappacosta. These deals span ownerships, sporting directors, and different eras, encapsulating the decline that has marred the end of Roman Abramovich’s era and the beginning of the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital era.

Despite the unsettling movements at the top of the club, there are hints of burgeoning clarity. Chelsea’s overhaul of more than ten players over the summer, including some recently-acquired first-team options, points to a newfound sense of direction. The departures of manager Thomas Tuchel and the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino reflect a ruthless shift that places little value on sentimentality, signifying a messy but discernible plan for the future.

Amidst the turbulence, there is the recognition that the club is moving towards assembling a young, hungry squad. However, the origin of these players raises questions. While signings like Kai Havertz and Timo Werner seemed promising at their arrival in the summer of 2020, the disparity between their potential and their actual contributions has become apparent. The emphasis on these signings over homegrown talents like Mason Mount and Lewis Hall raises concerns about the club’s ability to nurture talent from its own academy.

The juxtaposition of star signings with academy graduates is evident in the case of Conor Gallagher’s successful loan spell at Crystal Palace compared to the underperformance of several high-profile acquisitions. It raises questions about the club’s priorities and their approach to squad building. The need to strike a balance between high-value signings and nurturing homegrown talents becomes increasingly clear.

In light of these considerations, the club’s response to the rise of young, promising players like Gallagher and their treatment of academy graduates must undergo a fundamental shift. It is imperative that the club values the development of its own talent and provides them with the opportunities they deserve, rather than fixating on expensive signings that fail to deliver on their promise.


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