It may be the lure of playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world; it could even be the Spanish sunshine. Whatever then attraction however, 15 year old Kyle Scott, star of Chelsea’s Youth Cup-winning is reportedly likely to turn down a contract offer from the Stamford Bridge outfit in favour of a move to either Barcelona or Real Madrid (according to an article published on the dailymails website). What can’t have helped either though, is the fact that very few of the Blues’ successful academy players ever see prolonged first team action.
Scott has already represented both England and the USA at youth levels, and is considered one of the brightest prospects amongst Chelsea’s youngsters. With Financial Fair Play looming on the horizon, this is very much the type of player that clubs will be keen to hold on to, but if reports are accurate, the midfielder will be decamping to the Iberian Peninsula soon.
Should the move happen, it will be an inevitable consequence of the short termism practised by some of England’s top line clubs, Chelsea probably most prominent amongst them. Of late, other than Bertrand, and to the end of last season Nathan Ake, academy graduates to the Blues’ first team squad have been few and far between. With the average tenure of a Premier League manager at less than two seasons, there’s little incentive to ‘give youth its head’ and plan for long term goals, when the odds are that you won’t be there to see the benefit, and all you’ll be doing is building a team that the next manager to benefit from.
From the player’s point of view, the prospect of getting a run in the Blaugrana team or a run out with Real Madrid, is sadly a more enticing prospect. Barcelona are of course famous for their ‘cantera’ unearthing young talent, plus their legendary La Masia development facility. Just look at the next game Barca play and add up the number of first eleven players that graduated from ‘the house.’ It’s an interesting exercise.
The sad reality is that although sometimes the flow reverses Piquet and Fabregas for example, the reluctance of many English clubs to bring through young players will deter the brightest prospects from committing to a long term career with limited opportunities at the top English clubs.