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Arnesen: Youth undermined at Chelsea

The club's former chief scout believes the club's transfer policy prevents the development of young players within the club

Former Chelsea chief scout and director of youth development Frank Arnesen has criticized the club's big-spending transfer policy for suffocating the club's young prospects.

Arnesen, who left Stamford Bridge two years ago for Hamburg, spent over 73 million euros on bright young stars in his first four years at the club, but only Ryan Bertrand has been able to claim a regular role in the first team.

And while the culpability for Chelsea's shortcomings this season has usually been put on the shoulders of Rafael Benitez and Roman Abramovich, Arnesen insists that it is Chelsea's hollow youth policy that is to blame.

"I am very proud of what I did. I did a fantastic job. I made the club a lot of money. I bought players for small amounts and they were sold for a lot of money," he told the Evening Standard.

But the former Denmark international admits that youth policy should be about more than turning a profit.

"The policy at Chelsea was to win a lot of games. When I started at Tottenham, we didn't have the money [to make big-money signings]," he added.

"I went for Tom Huddlestone, Aaron Lennon, Michael Dawson and Andy Reid — all players we could get who didn't have a high salary. They had ambition and wanted to be better and they got the chance to play.

"But if I had done it with Chelsea they would not have played for two years, so this is the difference."

Chelsea currently has 23 players out on loan, only few of whom could be expected to feature next season, namely Romelu Lukaku, Josh McEachran and Thibaut Courtois.

At a structural level, Arnesen believes cupability should also lie with the demand for instant results and the resulting pressure heaped upon managers in the English top-flight

He continued: "That is the problem in England. At Chelsea, we had fantastic talent, we built up marvellous players, but they needed to be given a chance and they never were. The pressure is so big.

"Managers in England are going out and buying players, the level is high, and it is difficult for them because if they lose two or three games, they're gone."

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