Chelsea staff feel academy star should be ahead of struggling £32million signing | Football

Chelsea’s transfer strategy has been a help as much as it has been a hinderance to Mauricio Pochettino (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea’s transfer strategy has its sceptics within the club’s academy who believe several homegrown talents have higher ceilings than the expensive recruits effectively bought to replace them.

The Premier League giants have spent over £1billion on new talent since the Clearlake takeover with the intention of assembling a squad packed with the best young talent in world football.

Fortunes have been spent on the likes of Moises Caicedo, Enzo Fernandez and Mkyhailo Mudryk alone, with mixed results.

Erratic form and a raft of injuries have prevented Mauricio Pochettino from fielding a settled line-up this season, but the club’s relatively new owners would doubtless have expected a better return than eight wins from 20 Premier League games.

A strong XI, meanwhile, was beaten 1-0 in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Middlesbrough in midweek in a further blow to Pochettino’s hopes of riding out a growing storm.

According to the Independent, the mood a the club’s Cobham training base is hardly being aided by the stagnation of a number of academy stars whose path into the first team is blocked by new signings.

The report claims that some staff believe £32million recruit Benoit Badiashile, for example, is no more talented than emerging centre-half Bashir Humphries.

Benoit Badiashile has struggled to convince at Chelsea

Benoit Badiashile has struggled to convince at Chelsea (Picture: Getty)

The confused approach to squad building has been further highlighted by the plight of Conor Gallagher who came close to leaving in the summer before emerging as a key part of Pochettino’s reuibld.

Promoted to the vice-captaincy and enjoying the best spell of his Chelsea career, Gallagher’s future is again the subject of reported speculation with Tottenham back in the running to sign him.

Asked about Gallagher’s situation ahead of last weekend’s FA Cup third round tie against Preston, Pochettino said: ‘I think we need to talk about many, many things but I think it’s clear Conor still has a one-and-a-half year contract with us.

Bashir Humphries has impressed Chelsea’s academy staff (Picture: Getty)

‘And that is like all the different players at different clubs when you arrive in this point it’s always time to talk and take some decisions for the future.

‘Of course always it’s going to be between the club and the player. At this moment there is nothing to announce, nothing to say.

‘The club is happy with him, I think he is happy here and at the moment nothing to say and nothing to announce.’

Pressed on whether Gallagher would still be a Chelsea player come January, Pochettino added: ‘Look, I cannot guarantee I am going to be here tomorrow I can’t guarantee another thing. Look, in football with us, it’s different part of things can happen.

It’s between the club and the player. Only the player can guarantee or the club. The player more than the club because he has a one-and-a-half year contract he can say yes I am going to be here because my contract allows it.

‘The club will make the best decision for the club.’


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