A Contribution Post by Pratik Mistry.

Effective utilisation of available resources is a concept which itself is under-utilised at Chelsea Football Club. Talented young players are signed at low cost, trained and loaned out to become valuable assets. These sets of players are then sold to extract maximum possible revenue. Revenue is Re-invested in buying lesser talented experienced players who do not give desired output.

By stockpiling young talent, inventory cost is increased. By signing expensive experienced players, direct cost is increased. The profit earned by selling young players is nullified due investment in lesser talented experienced players.

The model followed at Chelsea is more commercial than technical. Yes, Finance is an important aspect in modern day football, but sense does not prevail in replacing a proven young player who can give better output compared to an experienced individual.

Commercial flaws being clearly evident in our loan/U21 model, analysis is conducted for untapped talent at each position to derive a result which has complete logical backing. It will be direct prediction of chances of loan/U21 player getting promoted to Chelsea 1st team for season 2019-20. The analysis is based on technical factors/transfer market trends and not done from emotional perspective of a fan else it would look biased. Young talent must be tapped, but not all loan/U21 players would have ideal circumstances, characteristics and timing to play in the 1st team.

 

Analysis is based on below assumptions post 2018-19 season end:

• Club has vision to continue attacking football philosophy.

• Club has the planning to serve a transfer ban and develop in-house talent to become 1st team players.

• Club will not renew registrations of Gonzalo Higuan and Mateo Kovacic as new signings for 2019-20.

• Club is willing to give time of minimum two years to new coach for developing young players.

• Statements of players on loan/academy about their chances are considered as benchmark for deriving the predication.

• FIFA will not implement the rule to make a limitation on number of players that can go on loan.

• Players not on Chelsea books are not considered in analysis

 

For conducting analysis, each position is divided into 3 clusters: Foreign Players, Home-grown players and U21 players.

 

Division of cluster is done on basis of criteria like: length of contract with club and available time frame from their current age which they can spend as on loan player, current competition ahead of them, clause of permanent transfer in their loan agreement, work permit issues, past player statements, recent transfer market news, player characteristics matching with system characteristics (for e.g. ball playing centre half or traditional defensive centre half)

 

 

 

 

GOALKEEPERS:

 

Cluster of division: Home Grown Players

 

Jamal Blackman – Jamal is a home grown keeper contracted till 2021. He has splendid reflexes for a tall GK. He is currently recovering from major injury.

 

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Jamal will be sold permanently to another club

 

Logic – He is a talented keeper at age of 26 & seeking regular football. He does not have time on his side. Path to 1st team is blocked by Kepa and younger GKs Cumming & Baxter

 

Cluster of division: U21 Players

 

Nathan Baxter & Jamie Cumming – Nathan/Jamie has a long term contract till 2023 & 2021 and are highly rated by Chelsea hierarchy. Both have smart reflexes and remained injury free.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Nathan & Jamie will be sent on loan

Logic – Kepa & Caballero will occupy the two spots in 1st team. 3rd choice GK spot is not advisable for high potential young keepers. Substantial time is available for both to remain on loan and get them tested in physical leagues and improve penalty box authority. Eventually one of them will materialize in 1st team for future.

Marcin Bulka – Marcin has a short term contract until 2019 and remained injury free. He showcased good vocal and leadership skills inside the box in community shield match.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Marcin will not sign contract extension

Logic – His path to the 1st team is blocked due to contract extension of Caballero and past intention of player to get 1st team assurances signals the intent to not accept a contract extension offer.

Karlo Ziger & Nicolas Tie – Both are young keepers with proven output at UEFA Youth league level and have great reflexes. Especially Karlo has great mental strength and leadership skills. Both are contracted until 2021.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team: Karlo & Nicolas will play in U21 team

Logic: Both keepers have time on their side and can comfortable play in U21 team for another year and then opt for a loan. Being younger than Baxter & Cumming, gives then margin to be patient and either of them have better chance in future 1st team compared to Baxter or Cumming due to age factor. Either of them can overlap as 3rd Choice keeper on some occasions for season 2019-20

 

LEFT BACKS:

Cluster of division: Foreign Players

 

Baba Rahman – He has just recovered from ligament injury and started finding his feet in French league. Baba has contract till 2020. He has adequate height which generally coaches want in full backs to ensure more cover in box while defending set pieces.

 

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Baba Rahman will be sold in French League.

Logic – Considering he will occupy a foreign spot if absorbed in team, he is not exceptionally talented for a loan player to occupy foreign spot. Past intention of player signals transfer to another club and Chelsea would like to generate revenue as it his last year of contract.

Cluster of division: U21 Players

 

Jay Dasilva – Jay Dasilva reminds you of Roberto Carlos who created importance of diminutive full backs in football. He has great link up play with wingers and ability to go past people playing a 1-2 with wingers. He has a contract until 2021.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Jay will be sold permanently to Bristol City

Logic – He has Alonso and Emerson ahead of him in competition. His height could be one of the potential problems in box defending corners. Bristol City has option to make loan move permanent and taste of 1st team football will be difficult to turn down

Juan Castillo – Juan has a contract expiring in June 2019. He is possibly the best crossing left back in Chelsea ranks at the moment.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Castillo will not sign contract extension.

Logic –His path to 1st team is blocked and even if Alonso/Emerson is sold, past intentions of player signals the release on a free transfer. He has less belief in the idea that Chelsea will offer him 1st team role.

Ian Maatsen – Ian is contracted until 2021 and though he played on left side of back 3 last year, but he is equally a good left back.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Ian will be promoted to U21 team

Logic – With Castillo getting released and Maatsen playing a vital part in UEFA Youth League it makes sense to promote him to U21

 

CENTER BACKS

Cluster of division: Foreign Players

 

Kurt Zouma – Kurt has long term contract until 2023 and he is elevated to high level again after his ligament injury. He is a traditional man to man marking CB with improvement in ball playing skills.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Will be absorbed in 1st team

Logic – Zouma has proven EPL experience with correct physical attributes to be EPL CB. He is exceptionally talented to occupy a foreign spot in 1st team. Perfect cover for Rudiger’s knee injury.

Kenneth Omerou & Tomas Kalas – Both are traditional man to man marking CB with limited ball playing ability. They have contracts until 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Kalas & Omerou will be sold permanently.

Logic – They are not ball playing CBs and will operate slow in possession based system. Age is a huge factor in search for permanent transfers.

Matt Miazga – Traditional man to man marking CB with limited ball playing ability. He has temperamental issues which can be overcome. He has contract until 2022 and he has adequate physique and Championship experience to become EPL CB in future.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Miazga will be sent on loan

Logic – Considering the length of contract and his performance at Reading, Miazga will be not be sold. He operates on a positional sense rather than ball playing characteristics exactly like Cahill. He has to wait for 1st team chance until a counter attacking coach joins Chelsea.

Cluster of division: Homegrown Players

Michael Hector – Hector is a boyhood Chelsea fan and traditional man to man marking CB with limited ball playing ability. He also is prone to making errors but played solid defensively for Sheffield Wednesday. He has contract until 2020.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Hector will be sold permanently.

Logic – Hector is not a ball playing CB and will operate slow in possession based system. Age is a huge factor in search for permanent transfers and considering last year of contract, Chelsea would like to generate revenue by selling him.

Fikayo Tomori & Jake Clarke-Salter – Both had exceptional seasons on loan and developed to huge extent. They have contract until 2021 and both have genuine ball playing skills. Unique characteristic of Jake Clarke-Salter is he is left footed CB and we have very few after John Terry. He has gathered a lot of knowledge about possession based game in Dutch League. Fikayo is two footed CB and uses his aerial ability to great extent.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Tomori and JCS will be loaned

Logic – Considering UCL in mind, both are currently behind Zouma, Christensen, Luiz and Rudiger in terms of experience at high level. Keeping either of them as 5th CB will result into very feeble game time for them which they can otherwise gain in plenty on loan.

Cluster of division: U21 Players

Ethan Ampadu & Josh Grant – Both are ball playing CBs and contracted until 2023 and 2021. Both are coming back from an injury.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Ampadu & Grant will be loaned

Logic – Considering their young age, it will be logical for club to send them on loan to gain high level experience. Ampadu after playing for 1st team, had a little set back with injury and that is where Zouma excelled ahead of him. In future, definitely one of the main CBs will be Ampadu. Club activated contract extension for Josh Grant which signals a fresh loan move

Marc Guehi, Richard Nartey & Joseph Colley – Marc Guehi has a contract until 2020 and will probably be the captain of U21 team considering Joseph Colley & Richard Nartey are yet to sign extensions.  All 3 are strong, athletic CBs and consistently proved their metal at U21 level.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Guehi will remain in U21 team, while Nartey & Colley will pursue free transfers

Logic – Guehi is much ahead of Nartey & Colley in terms of any future scope of integration in 1st team. Nartey & Colley would like to pursue permanent moves after getting released on free transfers. Keeping Guehi in U21 team and making him captain seems to be logical decision.

 

RIGHT BACKS:

Cluster of division: U21 Players

Reece James, Dujon Sterling, Tariq Lamptey & Marcel Lavinier – Reece has been the outstanding performer on loan and has contract until 2022. He has showcased excellent physical attributes in Championship. Dujon is a fast and direct more of a wing back than full back and did well on loan to Coventry. He has contract till 2022.

Lamptey and Lavinier were consistent performers at U21 and U19 level with Lamptey playing major part in U21 season. Lamptey has electric pace and has more attacking full back skills. He needs to work on his defensive traits. Lavinier covered two positions RB and Right wing back during the course of U19 Youth league. Lamptey has contract till 2020 and Lavinier till 2021.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – James will be absorbed in 1st team. Sterling will be loaned to a Championship club. Lamptey will remain in U21 and Lavinier will be promoted to U21 team.

Logic – James has proved it on loan that he has all characteristics and metal to be a senior team player. His injury will be a little setback in him winning over the new coach but he will still be part of 1st team. Sterling needs to work on defensive phase and needs a championship loan to realise true potential. Lamptey & Lavinier being relatively inexperienced should continue their development in U21 team for 1 year.

DMs, DEEP LYING MFs AND BOX TO BOX MFs:

Cluster of division: Foreign Players

 

Tiemoue Bakayoko – Bakayoko has a contract till 2022 and is returning back to Chelsea after his problems in Serie A. We haven’t seen the Bakayoko we used to know at Monaco but he came to Chelsea last season with knee injury and after recovery he has been totally different player.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Bakayoko will be absorbed in 1st team

Logic – Though he does not exhibit ball playing characteristics but new coach would definitely like to keep a traditional DM.  He could work like new signing and specially after absence of RLC and with Chelsea not signing Kovacic, its vital to retain Bakayoko for cover.

Marko Van Ginkel – Van Ginkel has contract till 2020 and probably he has been the unluckiest with injuries. Time and again he has proved it on loan by winning Dutch league title that he is a quality box-to-box MF

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Will be sold by permanent transfer

Logic – He has not yet recovered from knee injury and he being 27 and only 1 year remaining on contract, Chelsea would probably sell him in Dutch league to retain some profit.

Cluster of division: Homegrown Players

Lewis Baker – A two footed smart MF who can play box-to-box or deep lying playmaker. He exhibited his set piece taking ability at Vitesse by scoring free kicks. He has contract till 2022.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Baker will be sent on loan

Logic – Though his path is blocked by Jorginho but since timing of other loans after Vitesse were incorrect, he will get another chance to prove it on loan as Chelsea trusts in this player.

Cluster of division: U21 Players

Trevoh Chalobah – He was the only bright spot in Ipswich Town and he has a unique mixture of physical attributes and ball playing skills.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – He might just sneak into 1st team

Logic – Exhibit his versatile play at CB and DM. His ball playing skills makes his unique. He Can cover 2 positions in 1st team.

George McEachran, Tarique Uwakwe, Luke McCormick, Conor Gallagher & John Russell – All young energetic and enthusiastic MFs of same U21 and U18 batch. McEachran & Uwakwe have contract till 2019, Russel & McCormick till 2020 and Gallagher till 2021.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Russell will be promoted to U21 as he has genuine height and physique to be promoted. Rest all will remain in U21 team with Uwakwe signing an extension which club has offered.

ATTACKING MFs:

Cluster of division: Foreign Players

 

Mario Pasalic & Nathan – Pasalic has been one of the standout performers on loan at Atlanta securing UCL qualification and playing some breath taking attacking football. Nathan did not have a great loan in Brazilian league and it was like step backward for him

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Pasalic and Nathan will be sold permanently.

Logic – Club has been struggling to get work permit cleared for Pasalic. Pasalic himself has spoken in past to settle down permanently in a team. Atlanta offers him best option to play UCL and now he also got selected in Croatia National Squad. Atlanta has an option to sign him. With Nathan it is clear cut case of a permanent transfer in the making as only 1 year left in contract. We have abundance of talent at No.10 and Nathan to occupy a foreign spot in team is not feasible.

Cluster of division: Homegrown Players

Kasey Palmer – Kasey has contract till 2021 and he has done reasonably well in Championship. He is a skilful number 10 who likes do more link up and interchange of play with forwards.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Kasey will be sold permanently.

Logic – Mason Mount, RLC and Barkley are much ahead of him at the moment. He is just at a stage where needs 1st team guarantees and needs to move permanently for playing regularly.

Cluster of division: U21 Players

Mason Mount, Jacob Maddox, Billy Gilmour & Faustino Anjorin – Mason Mount has exhibited the perfect temperament and skill to play at the highest level. Jacob Maddox has done fairly well on loan and has added physical attributes to his game and played left MF & classic no.10 positions. Billy Gilmour is a consistent performer at U21 and U19 and is one of the most highly praised Scottish Youngster. If you are looking for someone with bigger size and better pace then RLC, Faustino Anjorin is the answer. Anjorin performed really well at U18 and U19 level this season showing burst of power and pace on numerous occasions All 4 attacking MFs are contracted till 2021.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Mason Mount will be absorbed in 1st team. Jacob Maddox will go on loan at higher level team. Billy Gilmour will continue in U21 team and Faustino Anjorin will be promoted to U21.

Logic – Mount has the perfect technique to play a No.10 in possession based style. He has developed the art of late runs and also has intelligent link-up play with strikers. Has everything goals, tracking back, free kicks, corners, long range strikes in his armoury.

Maddox having done exceptional in his last loan, he qualifies to move to Championship team on loan.

Billy Gilmour needs to still learn physical aspects of game and a loan would be too early for him.

The size and raw power of Anjorin makes his suitable for promotion to U21.

WINGERS:

Cluster of division: Foreign Players

Lucas Piazon, Danilo Pantic & Kennedy – Piazon has contract expiring in June 2019 while Pantic and Kennedy have contracts till 2020

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – All 3 wingers will be sold

Logic – For Pantic his statistics at Partizan qualifies him to be a 1st team player, but owing to work permit issues, his own desire to move and Partizan having option to trigger permanent transfer all signals selling of Pantic.

Same applies to Kennedy & Piazon who came as hugely talented Brazilian youngsters, but the move never really materialized for both making feeble 1st team appearances. Now both are at an age where permanent transfer is best suited option for career. Both have 1 year on contract so it’s a case of Chelsea covering the transfer fees.

Cluster of division: Homegrown Players

Victor Moses, Isaiah Brown & Charly Musonda – Victor has contract till 2021 and he traditionally more of a counter attacking winger. Musonda & Brown are very talented youngsters plagued by injuries.  All 3 homegrown wingers have contract till 2021.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Moses will be sold; Musonda & Brown will be loaned

Logic – Moses is not suitable in a possession based style and player himself wants to move on a permanent transfer. Musonda & Brown both being sublimely talented but coming back from major injuries will have to prove on loan again.

STRIKERS:

Cluster of division: Foreign Players

Michy Batshuayi & Alvaro Morata – Michy has contract till 2021 while Morata is contracted till 2022. Both had semi-successful loans, but both have struggled in EPL in their 1st seasons

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Michy will be absorbed in 1st team. Morata will be sold on permanent transfer

Logic – Michy exhibits unique combination of characteristics like pace, link up play and finishing skills in box. He has enough PL experience and with an improvement in hold-up play, he can be a good back-up striker. Also player has not spoken publicly about desire to leave Chelsea and also with Giroud being our only senior striker, next season it becomes inevitable to retain Michy.

Morata on the other hand has confessed he can’t adapt to culture and pressure of EPL. He wants a transfer in Spain and in all likelihood he will get it.

Cluster of division: Homegrown Players

Tammy Abraham – Tammy is contracted till 2022 and has done exceptionally well at Aston Villa on loan. He executed all kinds of goals – tap-ins, headers, long range, penalties, etc. during his spell on loan.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Tammy will be absorbed in 1st team

Logic – He has adequate stats to qualify himself to be in 1st team. Scoring 20+ goals in Championship is not a cake walk and with Chelsea facing consequences of keeping only 2 strikers in past, new coach would definitely want 3 strikers. He also learned the physical aspect in Championship that will help him a lot in EPL.

Cluster of division: U21 Players

Ike Ugbo, Charlie Brown & Daishawn Redan – Ugbo is contracted till 2021 and did not have a productive loan in 2018-19. He has been doing very well at U21 and U18 levels scoring a lot of goals.

Charlie & Daishawn both have contracts till 2021 and are immensely talented. They both showcased their goal scoring ability at U21 and U19 levels in season 2018-19.

Verdict for absorption in 2019-20 1st Team – Ugbo will be loaned, Charlie will remain with U21 and Redan will be sold

Logic – Ugbo will still get a chance to prove himself on another loan as he is a good finisher inside the box. This loan may be a make it or break it for Ugbo.

Charlie has never spoken publically about him being impatient to get chances in 1st team. He still believes in the process and knows he has to lead the line for U21 next year before going out on loan in 2020-21.

For Redan, it is a similar thought process which Castillo has wherein he does not believe he will get an opening to 1st team soon, so he will move on a permanent transfer

CONCLUSIVE SUMMARY:

 

Derivation from analysis shows we have adequate fire power to mitigate shortage of players during transfer ban. If club hires a progressive coach who values capability over name, then we will be having decent U21/loan players playing in 1st team.

 

Players to be absorbed in 1st team:

 

Reece James – RB

Trevoh Chalobah – CB or DM

Kurt Zouma – CB

Tiemoue Bakayoko – DM

Mason Mount – AMF

Michy Batshuayi – Striker

Tammy Abraham – Striker

 

New coach must also think to include a cover for Jorginho and Injured Callum Hudson-Odoi. Probably Baker/MVG for Jorginho and Musonda/Brown as cover for CHO.

 

Others still need a good loan to prove themselves for absorption in 1st team. Also, fair amount of patience is required by players willing to break into 1st team.

 

Hunger and willingness of a young academy player has to be materialised in form of sustainable output which will give long term benefit. Every academy player that gets converted to a 1st team player will remain loyal to Chelsea for a decade at least; academy player will have a positive impact even if he comes on as a substitute for last 10 minutes. Academy players know the culture of Chelsea being associated with club from age of 6 and has a sense of responsibility to represent the club on pitch selflessly.

 

In times when Manchester City and Liverpool are dominating the league with their spending power, only aspect that can help Chelsea give a response is true grit and determination of in-house players who knows the value of defending the badge.

 

I conclude my article with expectation that my 80% verdict becomes right and maximum loan/U21 players are absorbed in 1st team to create a sustainable platform for challenging the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.

Author – @pmmistry13

 

Advertisements