Will Chelsea regret losing Livramento to Southampton for just £5m?

Tino Livramento, Chelsea badge JPGGetty/Goal

Many at Chelsea felt a tinge of regret watching former academy star Tino Livramento pick up the man of the match award in Southampton's 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday.

The 18-year-old did everything he used to do at the Blues' academy at Cobham against one of the best teams in England.

Of course, he was so highly rated within Chelsea that he won the Academy Player of the Year award for 2021, following in the footsteps of the likes of Mason Mount, Reece James and Billy Gilmour.

It feels remarkable that the Blues got just £5 million ($7m) for him but their hand was forced by him entering the last year of his contract.

Still, Chelsea have put both a sell-on clause and a buyback clause – which is understood to be closer to £40m ($55m) than the £25m ($34m) originally reported – into his Saints contract.

It maintains a modicum of a connection with a homegrown talent who supported Chelsea while growing up in south London.

Livramento's exit was partially down to Chelsea. Given the way in which they have so successfully stockpiled top talent, the argument in favour of keeping Livramento at the club was hardly compelling.

With a huge number of loanees returning for pre-season, Tuchel had to deal with a lot of senior players and that blocked the pathway to the first team for many academy hopefuls.

Tino Livramento stats vs Manchester United
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That was a factor in not only Livramento leaving the club, but also the likes of Lewis Bate (Leeds), Myles Peart-Harris (Brentford) and Dynel Simeu (Southampton).

The competition for places in Tuchel's squad is intense. Indeed, just an hour after Livramento's sensational display for Southamtpon, Reece James starred in Chelsea's dominant victory at Arsenal.

With a goal and an assist in the London derby, the 21-year-old strengthened the case for him being the finest right-back in England right now.

James' emergence, remember, also played a part in the departure of another promising right-back,  Tariq Lamptey, 18 months previously.

Chelsea still tried desperately to persuade Livramento to stay, even if that meant going out on loan for the 2021-22 season.

However, their argument was weakened by their pursuit of former Inter right-back Achraf Hakimi .

Although they lost that particular race to big-spending Paris Saint-Germain, it nonetheless undermined the claim made to Livramento that his career would be best served by remaining at Stamford Bridge. 

And with RB Leipzig, AC Milan, Southampton, Brighton and Aston Villa in for him,  Livramento was not short on offers.

Brighton came close to signing him, despite already having fellow academy graduate Lamptey on their books, but Southampton's aggressive approach saw them beat their south-west rivals to his signature.

Tino Livramento Chelsea
Getty/Goal

Now, he is working with a manager in Ralph Hasenhuttl who is highly respected and renowed for improving players.

Still, the Austrian coach was quick to try to play down the hype building around Livramento after his first two games for the St Mary's club.

"I'm happy for him and for us that he took the decision to come to us. As a club, it's always difficult to get one of the best talents in England," Hasenhuttl said.

"'We knew he had a lot of potential. He has played two games. Don't hang him too high. Keep it calm. I know how quickly people are starting to lift him, but there is no need.

"It's too early. He has still a lot of things to learn but he has everything. He has the body, speed, quality on the ball and also the most important thing for me is that he has the right mindset.

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"So, it's a good combination, a good package and it's on us to work with him."

Still, it's difficult not to get excited about Livramento's talent and potential. Chelsea may regret letting him leave but they could yet bring him back.

Having recently re-signed Romelu Lukaku, the Blues have once again shown that they aren't afraid to spend big money in the future to correct past mistakes.