Blimey, how long ago does that night in the midlands seem? I like many was fairly upset when Nathan Ake was sold last week. Why should it matter? We as a club do what we do and still keep winning things. Last time I looked we had won the premier league twice in the last three seasons. We keep winning things and looking at what our record was last year we are very good.
So why does it stick in the throat when players like Ake go? If he was that good surely a “big club” would have come in for him. Why does it wind me up that we are going to pay £30 million for a player who is in essence the same as what we have? The major difference is that he has 4 seasons under his belt and Nathan has 15 appearances from last season 10 from the bench. Why does it matter? It’s not my money.Is there a fear that we will sell someone who will prove to be brilliant and he will come back to punish us? Hasn’t happened has it. Yes we can point at de Bruyne and Lukaku but they were both bought by the club and not quite the same. The former still rankles, the latter may be on his way back.
I have no problem with us farming players who have been brought in by the club for that purpose which we do on a regular basis apparently we’ve made £100m on fringe players in the last 3 seasons but losing talent which could one day be a first team player grates. The lack of continuity in the managers chair is a big factor but AC was quite happy to use youth last season. The regular introduction of both Loftus Cheek and Chalobah testament to this but there were no serious minutes. Only Ake played in a crucial game and he’s now gone.
So what do I want as a fan? Ultimately I want to win the league every season and anything else is a bonus. The old adage is you can’t win anything with kids and along came Lord Ferg with his outstanding bunch of kids. I don’t support them so have no idea as to why they were introduced and then went on to thrive. They were an exceptional group of young players but isn’t that what we have? A midfield of Baker Loftus Cheek and Chalobah would be interesting but not going to happen is it? There is already talk on Nat going and that would be criminal but why should he stay? He knows he’s good but that’s not good enough at Chelsea you have to be exceptional.
There is no doubt that our manager is slightly more qualified than I when deciding these matters. I think our midfield is in need of some oomph and I’m sure Bakayoko would give us that but I’d prefer Veratti plus Nat as an alternative. Maybe Lewis Baker is being groomed as that alternative. Or maybe he’s being got ready to go out on loan again. The word is that Roman is desperate for a home grown to finally make it. Surely if that were the case it would have happened by now. The facilities at Cobham are one of the finest in football. Millions spent for state of the are facility but is it just a farm? There really is no evidence if it being anything else. We have not farmed Solanke very well as he is going for not a lot and the next couple of seasons will show how badly that will come back to haunt us.
Looking round the Premier league though there is lip service to youth but not much else. The Merseyside clubs most particularly the blue side are really pushing forward their kids. They look to have a couple of decent players. On the red side they pack their bench with kids and play them in cup games but no one has broken through and that appears to be more for lack of options. Both Manchester clubs also have great academies and their first teams have precisely no one banging on the door with the exception of Rashford. Looking at Barca and Real they have amazing kids and yet their first teams do not contain any. One of the most promising is Asensioa but would he have had a look in without Madrid’s transfer ban?
Like everything football is evolving and perhaps playing at a certain level I need to accept that however good our kids are unless there is a real superstar it’s not going to happen. It will be fascinating to see if Christensen gets a look in. He obviously can play. Is he better than what we have. My thoughts are that Gary Cahill is the most vulnerable as Luiz is a one off and Azpi too good to drop.The speculation continues unabated with mass disillusionment with the lack of signings. But if you look around virtually no premier league club has signed anyone. We all know Citeh set off like a train buying the marvellous Silva but save for a keeper , nothing. There has been the odd transfer but nothing from virtually anyone else. The papers want to whip things up and the lack of proper football but social media shows up the multitude of sad keyboard warriors.
Of those linked with us, all seem decent but surely they have to be better than what we have. I have spoken about Bakayoka above but if he comes, Sandro is an exceptional player. I do not know much about Rugier but he plays for the German national team so has to have something about him. The whole Diego saga is very sad. The moral of the story is you do not mess with Antonio. The bare cupboard is now resembling a shelf. We have the Batman and no one else. From looking at Tammy he does not look ready and I have no problem with him going to Swansea on loan. We have obviously lost interest in Morata pre supposing he was even in the frame but again the money being quoted for him is bonkers.
Talking of strikers, the elephant in the room is Romelu. The waiting crowd seem split. Is he a flat track bully, a great forward or just a modern day Emille Hesky? Will we find out. If he comes back we know he loves the club, we know he scores lots of goals in the premier league what we do not know is whether he can score them when it matters. The point winning goals that Diego scored last year was exceptional especially taking into account he more or less gave up after Christmas. With better service surely Lukaku can do likewise but I look at the goal Diego scored against West Brom at home last season when nothing else worked, that is where Romelu needs to be. If we spend what is being quoted for him, he has to be a game changer and I am not convinced he is.