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Five U-21 players released


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http://www.weaintgotnohistory.com/2013/2/1/3941190/chelsea-fc-release-ben-gordon-adam-phillip-rohan-ince-conor-clifford-james-ashton

 

Chelsea have parted ways with five players from their U21 squad today,
releasing the players from their contracts so they can go about finding
a new long term home. The five players released include Conor Clifford,
Ben Gordon, Adam Phillip, Rohan Ince, and James Ashton. U18 player
Alistair Gordon was also allowed to leave to join Crystal Palace on a
permanent deal.

Head of youth development Neil Bath had the following to say about the releases:


'There were two sides to it. There was a group of

players whose contracts were up, and we felt it appropriate to tell them

now that they will not be offered new deals.'

'We made a decision from a welfare point of view to tell them early,

and pay their contracts up early to put them in a position where they

are not in the same as many other players at the end of the season,

where there could be a couple of hundred guys in the summer looking for

new clubs.'

'It's a good aftercare thing to do for boys that have been with us a

long time, and it gives them the opportunity to go and seek

opportunities for their next move. Between the staff here we have good

contacts within the game and we look to use those to help the boys on

their way.'

'It also allows the club to blood emerging youngsters in the Under-21

side over the second half of the season. For the remainder of the

season our Under-21 side could now be quite young, which means the lads

could struggle physically, but the result is not so important, it's the

development and for them to experience the Under-21 league earlier than

others might have done at other clubs.'

'It allows us to push them on too, while helping the other lads with their career pathway.'

It's always disappointing to see Chelsea
youngsters stall in their development, but it happens frequently at
every academy that operates anywhere. I'm very impressed with the way
that the club have handled their releases, and the full statement has
some nice things to say about each of them individually.

Hopefully all five of these players manage to latch on somewhere and
continue to pursue a career in professional football. We already have
word that Ben Gordon is likely heading back to Scotland, and most of the
others will likely have several trials with lower level clubs in the
next month. Best of luck guys, and thanks for your service to Chelsea.

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Sad, but true.

 

Can't see where the next home grown. 1st team regular will come from

Feruz/Chalobah/Boga/Mceachern what do you think will happen to them these players were released because they arent good enough for chelsea
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Sad, but true.

 

Can't see where the next home grown. 1st team regular will come from

 

Nathaniel Chalobah. Or Josh McEachran, but Chalobah's been more impressive in the same division this year.

 

Complain about people not getting chances when we let go of kids who've shown signs they might be able to play in the top flight. None of this lot were at that level.

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Sad, but true.

 

Can't see where the next home grown. 1st team regular will come from

 

Nathaniel Chalobah. Or Josh McEachran, but Chalobah's been more impressive in the same division this year.

 

Complain about people not getting chances when we let go of kids who've shown signs they might be able to play in the top flight. None of this lot were at that level.

He's been selected as young PFA player of the year too.
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Nathaniel Chalobah. Or Josh McEachran, but Chalobah's been more impressive in the same division this year.

 

Complain about people not getting chances when we let go of kids who've shown signs they might be able to play in the top flight. None of this lot were at that level.

 

We signed Sturridge when he was 19. He was certainly not given the chance, particularly in his rightful position.

 

Borini signed for Liverpool for £10.5m, for a manager that knows him well and has utmost confidence in him. We had him at 18. I suspect he could get a game for us on merit, like Sturridge.

 

Edit: These players left because they wanted to play, and they were quite right to do so.

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You may have a point about Sturridge, but my impression that Borini's head was turned by his agent.

 

He'd had a couple of long spells out with injury that undoubtedly hampered his development. Rather than working his way back, with the possibility of promotion to the first team squad in the not too distant future, he refused to sign a new contract, and went back to Italy lured by the promise of immediate first team football.

.

Incidentally, not that awards necessarily count for much, but Chalobah has just been named the England Youth Men's Player Of the Year.

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It's a shame, but that's football - I had high hopes for Connor Clifford but he never seemed to progress.

Agreed. I'm very familiar with all the names on this list. At one time or other they have shown quite a bit of promise. But at present if I was asked to pick 5 (maybe even 10) players in our academy/reserves who I thought might make it I don't think any of them would make the list. Conor Clifford was perhaps the one I thought had the best chance but his star has faded the last year or so.

I wish them all the best and hope they are able to find success elsewhere.

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The step up from youth/reserve team to the first team is huge.

 

Same applies to loan spells in the lower divisions to the premier league.

 

I think where possible we need to send our players on loan to premier league sides, like we have done with Lukaku who seems to be benefiting a lot.

 

That said, we sent Josh on loan to Swansea last season and that didn't work out, such a fine line. 

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You may have a point about Sturridge, but my impression that Borini's head was turned by his agent.

 

He'd had a couple of long spells out with injury that undoubtedly hampered his development. Rather than working his way back, with the possibility of promotion to the first team squad in the not too distant future, he refused to sign a new contract, and went back to Italy lured by the promise of immediate first team football.

.

Incidentally, not that awards necessarily count for much, but Chalobah has just been named the England Youth Men's Player Of the Year.

 

For what it's worth, according to a friend of mine who studied abroad in London and knew Borini personally, that's exactly what happened. 

 

Based on what I've seen from him this year, I really don't think we're missing much, although you never like to lose out on talent for nothing. 

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We signed Sturridge when he was 19. He was certainly not given the chance, particularly in his rightful position.

 

Borini signed for Liverpool for £10.5m, for a manager that knows him well and has utmost confidence in him. We had him at 18. I suspect he could get a game for us on merit, like Sturridge.

 

Edit: These players left because they wanted to play, and they were quite right to do so.

Sturridge definitely had some bad luck here, partly attributable to the Torres experiment, but I'm not sure I'd say he 'certainly was not given a chance' - he did start 49 games for the club. He got unlucky with the AVB sacking, as he was doing well cutting inside in a 4-3-3 and neither of AVB's successors played the formation. We never gave him a chance up front in a 4-2-3-1, which seems foolish given his Liverpool form, but he spent most of the time we were playing that either injured or competing with Drogba *and* Torres for one spot. I wonder whether RDM would have started him up front at the beginning of the season if he hadn't been hurt, and if that would have helped results enough to keep RDM employed longer.

 

Borini . . . setting aside the argument about whether his agent was more to blame, when has he ever looked like a starter on a Premiership contender? (and no, starting for Liverpool doesn't count - they've got a handful of stars and a lot of crap). He's worse than Lukaku, Sturridge, or Ba up front, just to pick players who've been on Chelsea's books at some point this season, and we've got about 20* people ahead of him for the wide slots. He could probably get a game, but he's not at a level where he'd be getting massive amounts of playing time.

 

Still, they're both better examples for "why didn't the club give youth a chance" than any of the people whose release sparked this thread. Sturridge is probably the best example period, him or Miroslav Stoch.

 

*not an exact number

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Borini has looked like an absolute waste of money since going to Liverpool, has he even scored a goal yet?

Not as far as I know. To be fair I thought he looked a lot more promising at Swansea, where he scored 6 in 9 appearances. I didn't see anything of Borini while he was at Roma but heard he was doing well. Carlo Ancelotti was also said to be impressed.

 

It could be that in his pre-Liverpool career he's flattered to deceive, but it could also be the case that he's taking time to settle at Anfield. He's still only 21, so it's a little too soon to write him off.

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Regarding Borini, I was at the Bridge when he came on as a sub, can't remember if it was his debut nor who the opposition were, but he looked very good. To me, he looked a natural centre-forward (Katon, I believe this is where he should be playing rather than out wide). He looked very good at Swansea, as Doc says, and though I didn't see him play for Roma he was evidently very good. Liverpool spent good money on him and though he hasn't settled yet and is yet to score, hasn't he been out injured most of the time? I know he's recently returned as a sub, but I think it's way too early to judge and I think he will prove a canny signing. Rodgers knows him and rates him, having worked with him at Chelsea and Swansea.

 

Edit: I don't think Chelsea were at all happy he refused to sign a contract, but I don't think money was the motivating factor, I think playing-time was. After all, we had Drogba, Torres, Anelka, Kalou and Sturridge at the club.

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Of whom Sturridge is proving more impressive in the same general age group, Drogba kept eating huge chunks of playing time until he left (and I doubt you think that was a mistake any more than I do), and Torres was Torres. If you want to argue that the Torres experiment has come at the expense of bringing through young strikers, I'd agree completely, but Roman's hobby of buying big-name forwards just after they lose their pace is a very specific bit of stupidity which doesn't really relate to our treatment of youth players at other positions.

 

Also worth considering is that the same summer Borini left we signed Lukaku, who's scored the same number of league goals this season that Borini did for Roma in his best year despite being younger, in a tougher league, and coming off the bench far more often (11 starts, 12 sub versus 20 starts, 4 sub). If Borini had signed a new contract, he would've been our third-most-talented U23 striker; even if you move him ahead of every senior forward except Drogba, that leaves him fourth in line for one starting position. He was a good player in the Championship, he was a good player for Roma when they were finishing 7th in Serie A, and he'll probably be a good player for Liverpool competing for 7th in the Premiership. It's not clear he'd be good enough to start for a Premiership title contender and I don't think he should have been a higher priority for playing time than Danny Sturridge or Romelu Lukaku.

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Of whom Sturridge is proving more impressive in the same general age group, Drogba kept eating huge chunks of playing time until he left (and I doubt you think that was a mistake any more than I do), and Torres was Torres. If you want to argue that the Torres experiment has come at the expense of bringing through young strikers, I'd agree completely, but Roman's hobby of buying big-name forwards just after they lose their pace is a very specific bit of stupidity which doesn't really relate to our treatment of youth players at other positions.

 

Also worth considering is that the same summer Borini left we signed Lukaku, who's scored the same number of league goals this season that Borini did for Roma in his best year despite being younger, in a tougher league, and coming off the bench far more often (11 starts, 12 sub versus 20 starts, 4 sub). If Borini had signed a new contract, he would've been our third-most-talented U23 striker; even if you move him ahead of every senior forward except Drogba, that leaves him fourth in line for one starting position. He was a good player in the Championship, he was a good player for Roma when they were finishing 7th in Serie A, and he'll probably be a good player for Liverpool competing for 7th in the Premiership. It's not clear he'd be good enough to start for a Premiership title contender and I don't think he should have been a higher priority for playing time than Danny Sturridge or Romelu Lukaku.

 

Drogba, in his last 2 seasons was pretty poor in the league, although he produced when it mattered rather than the bread and butter stuff. Danny easily deserved a chance up front, at the expense of Drogba, Anelka and Torres, who were all woeful in Carlo's last season and last season too in the league (Anelka having gone by then). Danny's treatment was scandalous IMO, especially considering he did the business at Bolton during his loan move, and the fact he did the business every time he got the chance up front, in cup games. Unfortunately he always had to make way for big names. In terms of producing week-in week-out over the previous 2 seasons to this one, he was by far our best bet.

 

You may be right regarding Borini's potential, but it's clear (to me at least) he's a good player. He was 20 last season and with that in mind he did damn well, although I take your point about Lukaku.

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I'm not arguing Borini isn't a good player. Just that 1) we didn't have enough playing time available to keep Drogba happy and in form for cup matches while giving all of Sturridge, Lukaku, and Borini decent chances and 2) if we had to punt one of those four players, Borini's the one who should lose out.

 

Of course, the way it turned out, all the non-Drogba playing time went to helping Fernando Torres recover from being a shop front dummy and become merely mediocre, Lukaku wasted a year, and Sturridge also wound up leaving for more playing time. But that's its own pathology.

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