Chelsea: Search for Terry replacement; loan policy details; target happy in Milan
The Daily Mail report that Antonio Conte has already started to look for John Terry’s replacement, as the Chelsea captain approaches the end of his career. He is keen to maintain an English feel to his back four in order to meet the Premier League homegrown regulations.
The report states that the Italian boss has identified Ben Gibson and Michael Keane as targets. Neither are names that Chelsea supporters will get excited about, but it shows the forward-thinking employed at the club. They will need to replace their captain in the next couple of years and sourcing the best young English centre backs now allows the club to follow their progress.
As well as losing a first team regular, the Blues will also be losing one of their homegrown players. In the Premier League, each squad needs to have eight players that have been trained in England. John Terry is currently one of Chelsea’s quota, therefore it would be a wise decision to source a homegrown player to replace him.
The regulations in the Premier League mean that English players are getting more and more expensive, as the supply is decreasing, especially those good enough to play at a club like Chelsea. It will be a near impossible task to replace one of the best players to have every graced the pitch at Stamford Bridge and it is crucial that the Blues do their due diligence effectively. Supporters should be encouraged that the search has already begun.
An interesting story to emerge during the last 24 hours is that Chelsea have a list of English clubs that they are unwilling to business with. There are an incredible 38 players out on loan, but the club put careful planning into the best destinations for their young stars. The Bristol City chief operating officer Mark Ashton had to convince the board at Stamford Bridge to send them Tammy Abraham on loan.
“They [Chelsea] had tried these arrangements with English clubs before and, in their words, they hadn’t worked.”
“They gave me a list of clubs they would not do business with.”
Although there has been a lot of criticism of Chelsea’s loan policy, this shows that there is method to their madness. They want to send each player to a club that will help them develop and first-team guarantees are important in ensuring that. In the case of Abraham, it has worked as he has been a regular for City and already scored five goals in all competitions. The Blues deserve credit for this as it is clear they want each player to improve, regardless of whether they see a future for them in West London.
Finally, Alessio Romagnoli is happy to have stayed at AC Milan after reported interest from Chelsea. Conte had been desperately searching for centre backs all summer and his knowledge of Serie A played a prominent role in the hunt. The Italian centre back is seen as one of the best prospects in the country and he has been called up by the national team.
“The fact there was an offer was pleasing, but I am even more gratified by the fact Milan said no.”
“This pushes me on to grow even more and improve myself. I am happy to have remained. President Silvio Berlusconi made a big investment for me and that’s enormously pleasing.”
Despite these comments, the AC Milan defender is likely to remain on Chelsea’s radar as he is a player that Conte would love to coach and mould into his own image. He is currently at a huge club, but the Italian giants have been underperforming for years. If they continue to finish out of the Champions League places, they will find it difficult to keep their stars for the long term, including Romagnoli.
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