Oct 142014
 
FC Barcelona agreed a deal to sign Cesc Fabregas from Arsenal on 15th August 2011. He made his debut in the Spanish Super Cup second-leg as a substitute, as Barcelona lifted the trophy against Real Madrid. Eight days later, he scored, as Barcelona lifted the UEFA Super Cup, beating FC Porto 2-0. Fabregas started off well. He fitted in perfectly with the team, and just as everyone imagined, it felt like a marriage made in heaven. Fabregas was supposed to be the heir to Xavi, to pull the strings in the midfield when Xavi stepped down, and lead Barcelona into the future. However, as time passed, Fabregas did not play in the Barcelona midfield, and instead, played further forward.
Often playing as a “False 9” whenever Lionel Messi was absent, Fabregas scored and assisted many goals in the first half of the season. Come the end of the season, Barcelona lifted the Copa del Rey, which for a team of their expectations, was certainly a let down. Euro 2012 came, and this gave the Spanish contingent a chance of defending their European crown. With the likes of Roberto Soldado, Fernando Torres, and Fernando Llorente among the striking ranks, Spain boss Vicente del Bosque decided to play Fabregas as the “False 9”. Spain defended their trophy, but once again Fabregas was played out of position.
 Two years later, Fabregas was sold to Chelsea, while Barcelona replaced him with Ivan Rakitic (the Croatian who captained Sevilla to a Europa League victory in his final season). The whole Fabregas affair left both the player and Barcelona with a wry taste in their mouths, as the expected outcome had not taken place. Instead of replacing Xavi, Fabregas had left the club before the Barcelona legend, and Fabregas never really fit into the team. This came as a shock, as Fabregas was a player who came through the famous La Masia Barcelona youth academy. Raised and taught to play tiki-taka, Fabregas played like he was restricted by the style of football. The reason for this comes from his TRUE footballing education, Arsenal.
When he signed for Barcelona, Fabregas thanked Arsene Wenger, saying that he was like a “second father” to him. Wenger developed Fabregas into the player he became, giving the player his debut at the tender age of 16, and entrusting him with the club’s captaincy at the age of 21. Wenger believed in Fabregas, and Fabregas paid back his manager. In the second half of the 2010-2011 season, Fabregas played in the number 10 role behind Robin Van Persie. With little defensive responsibility, Fabregas pulled the strings as the playmaker behind a striker in great form, with Jack Wilshere and Alex Song sitting deeper, and Theo Walcott making inside-forward runs from the right. Fabregas performed at a very high level in this position, and a great example of his role was shown in the 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Emirates. While Wolves are hardly the best of competitors, the game personified Fabregas’s progression into the number 10 role, playing through balls in behind. For the first goal, Fabregas sent in a lovely cross, which Van Persie volleyed into the back of the net. The second goal was a counter-attacking goal, which saw Fabregas play a brilliant through-ball on the turn into Theo Walcott, who squared for Van Persie to score. At this point, in early February, Arsenal were riding high, and were still in the race for all of the four competitions they were involved in. In typical Arsenal fashion, injuries came and they ended the season without a single trophy. That season, Arsenal scored the most goals from counter-attacks in the Premier League.
Arsenal’s style of football is said to be the closest to that of Barcelona. Both teams always like to keep possession. However, Arsenal is much more direct than Barcelona. Fabregas always tried playing through-balls behind opposition defences at Arsenal, and this continued trend did him no favours at Barcelona. At Barcelona, the players pass the ball until they find a true opening in the opposition defence to exploit, and then the ball is played in to that player. Fabregas, in his time at Barcelona, was often accused of giving away possession all too often. He tried playing the ball in behind too many times, often resulting in the opposition gaining possession of the ball.
This trend has resurfaced in Fabregas’ at Chelsea. Against Manchester City at the Etihad, in the second half, Fabregas tried playing Costa in behind Mangala and Kompany. Every time he did, Manchester City regained possession of the ball and gained the chance to counter-attack Chelsea. The difference is that Mourinho signed Fabregas to play a striker in behind, to provide through-balls so that Chelsea could break down teams. Barcelona, on the other hand, are required to break down teams quickly, and do not necessarily need a Fabregas to expertise in the role.
Despite everything said, there were other key factors as to why Fabregas did not completely succeed at Barcelona. When he came to the club, Barcelona had a midfield three of Busquets, Xavi, and Iniesta, a trio at the top of their game. There was no way any one of them would lose their position to Fabregas immediately. Fabregas was and never will be a Busquets type of player, and his role is also different than that of Xavi’s. Xavi dictates play, keeps the tempo of the game, while Fabregas is more of a true playmaker. However, by the 2013-2014 season, Xavi’s steady decline started to show. While still a great player, Xavi did not perform at the same levels of past seasons. Fabregas must also take the blame for not performing well in the second half of seasons. In his time at Barcelona, no other player tallied as many assists as him. A majority of these came in the first half of each season. When he left for Chelsea, the official FC Barcelona website shot a parting blow at the player, stating that he did not perform at the level required in the second half of each season he was there. Fabregas’s form so far at Chelsea has earned him many plaudits. However, his form is hardly a surprise. Fabregas has always been known as a fantastic midfielder, which is why he has attained 92 caps for the Spanish National Team, not an easy accomplishment in a stacked side. Despite this, he has often come off the bench and not started in many of his appearances. His impact has often been vital, as Fabregas scored the winning penalty to put Spain into the Euro 2008 Final, set up the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup Final, and played an important role in Spain’s capturing of Euro 2012.
Jose Mourinho has provided Fabregas with the freedom of playing where he feels best, in midfield, and not fitting him onto the pitch in positions where he is a square peg in a round hole. Mourinho calls his position as the “Number 8”, where Fabregas is in charge of helping his side control the game, but to also take up the Number 10 role, often switching positions with Oscar. Fabregas’ passing ability has never been in question, and his passes to Andre Schurrle and Diego Costa against Burnley and Arsenal respectively have earned him lots of praise. Mourinho, by placing Fabregas a bit deeper, requires him to improve defensively, putting in more tackles than before. At Arsenal, Fabregas was the focal point of the team in his later years there. As the Number 10, he was the main man. At Chelsea, the team is filled with stars, including Eden Hazard and Diego Costa ahead of him. However, Jose Mourinho has made the importance of Fabregas clear, and the player has put in superb performances all season. Performing well again, Fabregas is a key cog in Chelsea’s rank, as they aspire to win the Premier League and conquer Europe. Come the end of the season, he will be truly judged, but for now, Cesc Fabregas is hitting all the right notes, and so is Chelsea.
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 Posted by at 3:30 pm
Aug 012014
 

 

It’s the last kick of the ball in the penalty shoot-out UEFA champions league 2012, if he scores Chelsea are Champions of Europe inside the Allianz arena front of the Bavaria Fans, he misses the spot kick sudden death beckons and he might have lost the opportunity to put his name in Chelsea Fc folklore and history. The big man steps up calmly send Manuel ‘Sweeper’ Neuer the wrong  way, Drogba has just scored the winning goal in the UEFA Champions League final, Chelsea are champions of Europe for the first time in their history incredible scenes of wild jubilations from Munich to London to Abidjan. Coincidentally that was to be the Drogba’s last kick of the ball in Blue Chelsea shirt, the big ivorien was off to Asia. The overtures and opulence of the Chinese club Shanghai Shenghua was too good to turn down, more so Abramovich and Chelsea board were not willing to give him the two years contract he asked for Didier was on the plane to China. On his arrival thousands of Chinese fans where at the airport to receive King Drogba amidst fanfare and tight security, although the chinese experience was to come to an abrupt end the same way it began as the owners of the Chinese club where in deep financial crisis therefore couldn’t sustain their heavy pay packages paid to their stars including drogba, another transfer was on the cards for Didier. Turkish giants Galatasaray called and gave Didier an escape route out of china, he soon settled down in Gala and immediately became a fan favourite, notching up decisive goals and leading them to the UCL knock out stages where they fell to the superior power of Chelsea fc.

Soon the season ended, rumours emerged that Jose wants Drogba back in the Cheslea blue, Jose called Drogba, no need for much convincing ,he told him COME BACK HOME, and Didier could not say no, who wouldn’t want to go back home after 2years sojourn away. The rest they say is history; Drogba is back in his beloved Chelsea blue, he penned a 1year deal with the blues with option of extension as a coach the next year. He is back to his old stomping ground, where he made his name, scoring goals for fun, he racked up a total of 157 goals winning 3 premier league titles, 4 FA Cups, 2 Carling cups and of course 1 UEFA champions league in the process.

Chelsea fans should not expect Drogba to give them double figures in goals return HELL NO!!! Didier is no longer the Didier he was 3years ago, age isn’t on his side as well, however Chelsea should still expect the hunger and passion from him, they should expect cameo appearances in the league and Capital one cup, scoring a couple of times as well. Drogba was not brought back by Jose to score goals, No, he was brought back to be a guide and mentor the new crop of players at the bridge, Drogba’s presence in the dressing room is a big plus to the new Chelsea players, he should be able to install the Chelsea DNA of never say die in them to make the next 10years of Chelsea be as eventful and even more as the previous years. Also Drogba will help Chelsea new striker Diego Costa settle down and teach him how to be a Chelsea striker; it is believed that this will add more impetus to the firepower line of Chelsea.

The second coming of King Drogba is not as a scoring machine but as a guide and tutor to the younger ones, this will make Jose’s work a lot easier as he can easily speak with the players and convey Jose’s philosophy off and on the pitch. We wish him all the best and hope he makes more history together with Jose and the club.

 

 

Omeiza Dawodu

Follow me on twitter @omski2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AU REVOUIR ROMELU BOLINGOLI LUKAKU : THE INSIDE STORY

I am not the biggest fan lukaku,I have looked at him over the years, he went to westbrom was subbed lots of times,came on as a sub and scored goals at the end of the season,he had times at everton where he had done very well, I saw him lots of times when he was mediocre – TONY CASCARINO (EX Chelsea player)

 

A promising young talent from the Anderletch FC academy of Belgium, a raw talent at the age of 17 was already a star and shining light in the Belgian Jupiler league, his frame stood 6foot 5, was a demon to defenders and always proved a handful he freely scored goals with pace and power. The comparison began to pour in, he was comaparedto and called the new Didier Drogba, fortunately the young man loved Chelsea and drogba was his idol. Trust the hawks of European football to start making inquiries on his availability and ready pounce to get the gallant striker, he had his eyes on only one club which was Chelsea Fc his dream club. When CFC travelled to Anderletcch in the summer of 2011 to negotiate a deal, a fee of £18million was agreed for the attacker and RomeluLukaku was on the flight to England and he was excited at the prospect of playing alongside his idol Didier Drogba. He arrived amidst fanfare his idol was nearing his twilight hence many saw him as a natural successor to fill the boots of Drogba when he finally leaves CFC. Not long into his Chelsea career, Lukaku’s attitudinal problems started manifesting, Andre Villa Boas felt he wasn’t ready yet for the first team so he was farmed out to westbrom to get some playing time and experience to continue his development. Steve Clarke’s connection with the CFC hierarchy facilitated his loan move to westbrom,Lukaku did creditably well notching a hatrick against Manchester United and scoring other important goals. However his brilliant performances where overshadowed by his loud mouth, Lukaku suffers from a disease called Diarrhoea of the mouth, Lukaku finds it difficult to keep shut when infront of the camera he makes silly comments that keep fans and the club wondering what manner of  boy is this? The modern day footballer isn’t only a player on the pitch he is equally a Public Relations specialist, Lukaku clearly lacks PR skills.

RomeluLukaku was set to be a key member of the CFC squad in the 2013/2014 season,he did well during pre season tour in America and Mourinho loved what he saw, in the super cup match against Bayern munich in August 2013,  Lukaku missed the decisive spot kick that would have handed the CFC the super cup, Romelu was inconsolable. Then came Samuel EtoFils who had just been signed to bolster the attack of Chelsea, Lukaku wasn’t ready to fight for his place, he met Jose on the eve of transfer deadline day and asked for a transfer to Everton, Jose granted his request and he was off to the  blue side of Merseyside, he did very well in his loan spell with everton scoring 15goals in the season, however the leaking mouth always reared its ugly head, Lukaku had just pressed the self destruct button when he attempted to join issues with Jose Mourinho his boss, the season ended and he was off to the world cup with his country, lukaku never sealed his mouth all through the warm up matches Lukaku was always on the news ranting and stating he will make up his mind after the world cup if he would remain at CFC, the Diarhhoea of the mouth has refused to let romelu be, unfortunately for him his performance at the world cup was nothing to write home about as a younger DevockOrigi was preferred to lukaku. OOH how bad his attitude, its rared its ugly head again, in one of the matchesLukaku was substituted early on and he refused to shake hands with his national team coach nor accept the applause, this was becoming overbearing, soon after Belgians were eliminated from the world cup. Earlier on this week he called Jose and the Chelsea board to clarify his position, Lukaku was demanding  to be the First choice striker at Chelsea fc, what an effrontery and bravado from the young man, not taking anything away from Rom he is a good striker but demanding for a starting role in a competitive team like Chelsea where even PetrCech isn’t even sure of been in the starting line up, Lukaku didn’t want to fight to be top choice at Chelsea, he wanted it served on a platter of Gold with belgian ornamented tray, Jose was infuriated likewise the CFC board,  RomeluLukaku was on his way out the Toffees had a bid of  £28million accepted , £25million down payment and £3million representing add-ons on trophies. Bolingoli was gone, his Chelsea career over, his Chelsea dream shattered.

Jose mourinho stated categorically that RomeluLukaku’s commitment to the Chelsea course has been questioned, his professionalism also questioned as well, demanding for a starting role was like an ultimatum to Jose saying PLAY ME OR I LEAVE.  Jose had this to say on the Lukaku issue, “The thinking was first of all the fact RomeluLukaku was always clear cut with us in his mentality and his approach was not highly motivated to come back to CFC, he wanted to play for Chelsea but clearly only as the first choice striker and at a club of our dimension its very difficult to promise a player that status , after that everton came with an important offer and because we want to be inside financial fair play rules you have to analyse the situation”.The above statement by Jose clearly explains the whole issue behind the travails and sale of Lukaku. You don’t meet the gaffer and demand a starting shirt, you work hard and fight for it, ask Didier Drogba, new signing Diego costa isn’t even sure of a starting bet in the Chelsea 11, Lukaku just has a loud mouth that if not checked is capable of derailing his professional career. I hope Martinez is able to caution and direct him to talkless and do more talking on the pitch, if lukaku can overcome his attitudinal problems he is capable of becoming one of the best strikers in the world (I hope a buy back clause was Inserted into his contract). I only but wish him well in everton. Did I mention that asides Lukaku’s finishing ability, he is got an abysmal first touch?.Ahhhhh, My ink just got exhausted, talk about that some other time.

 

VERDICT

Lukaku wasn’t good enough, he doesn’t meet the required standards at Chelsea. I pass on the ball to you my ardent readers, tell me what you think.

 

 

Omeiza Dawodu

Follow me on twitter @omski2000

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 Posted by at 3:18 pm
Feb 252014
 

The World Cup must still seem a far-off event for the many international stars in Chelsea’s squad. There’s the small matter of some Premier League and Champions’ League silverware to contest before the club seasons out. The little horse has a long way left to run.

Still, unbelievably, the World Cup Finals in Brazil are now just four month’s away (meaning it’s now a terrifying three years and eight months since you first heard the dulcet tones of a vuvuzela). There’ll be no shortage of players from our squad jetting off on a variety of planes to South America, but only a select few are in with a real shout of individual and national glory, if you find yourself still asking When is World Cup 2014? Odds, group schedules and dates can all be found on Coral.co.uk, read on for our Chelsea players to watch:

Eden Hazard

The name on every Chelsea fan’s lips since that gloriously brutal hat-trick against mid-table Newcastle, Eden Hazard is one of the fastest rising stars in international football. Eden’s recent form has spurred on Jose Mourinho to hail him as the best young player in the world, and it’s an absolute joy to watch this prodigy blossom into a top, top player in a Blue shirt.

The World Cup finals represent a golden opportunity for Hazard. Belgium hasn’t traditionally been considered to be members of the international football elite, but mark our words, that have all changed. The Belgians looked fierce in World Cup qualifying, and with the likes of Man City star Vincent Kompany lining up alongside Hazard, no one will be taking this relatively small European nation lightly.

Fernando Torres

We’ve recently been seeing heartening flashes of the real Fernando Torres – the player who lit up the Kop at Anfield in a way which has never quite been repeated during his time at Chelsea. One thing’s for sure, the Spaniard possesses proven World Cup winning pedigree, and there’ll never be a better time for the striker to recapture his early brilliance than now.

Oscar

Our very own Brazilian ace Oscar will surely offer the host nation a dangerous option in midfield at this summer’s tournament. Along with Neymar, Oscar is one of Brazil’s leading lights and is amongst the best play-makers in the game.

John Terry

Ok John, we know you bonked everyone’s wives… but if England is to make respectable progress in the World Cup this summer, we need the experience, leadership and quality of this man in defence. Oh, and how about that new contract Jose?

Apr 222013
 

The Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez proved yet again that he is an absolute animal and should not be allowed to play in any competitive football match ever again. His totally unprovoked attack on Branislav Ivanovic in yesterdays game at Anfield was a vicious act, and his disgusting play-acting afterwards only compounded his guilt and emphasised what a devious, cheating, disgusting excuse for a human being he really is.

This is not the first time either. While playing for Ajax, he was banned for 7 games in Holland after doing exactly the same thing when he bit PSV’s Otman Bakkal on the shoulder, which led the Dutch papers to name him “The Cannibal of Ajax” and directly led to him being sold to Liverpool as he was so despised by the football supporters in Holland.

Suarez tried to minimise the uproar by immediately being told to publicly apologise to the whole world after the game. His statement said: “I’m sad for what happened this afternoon.

“I apologise to Ivanovic and all the football world for my inexcusable behaviour. I’m so sorry about it.”

“I have issued an apology and have tried to contact Branislav Ivanovic to speak to him personally.

“I apologise also to my manager, playing colleagues and everyone at Liverpool Football Club for letting them down.”

Well I’m afraid this is just not good enough and not only should he be banned for life but he should also be charged with assault and sent to prision as an example to any other animals out there who may think it is acceptable to go around biting fellow footballers…..

Apr 062013
 

Chelsea’s £50Million flop Fernando Torres is adamant that he will continue to work hard to regain his prolific goalscoring days, to repay the faith shown in him by the club.

The Spaniard scored a brace in Thursday’s home leg of The Europa League quarter-final match against Rubin Kazan, his third and fourth goals since the turn of the year. His other two goals came in the shape of the equalizing goal against Brentford to earn the Blues a FA Cup replay, and a goal in the home win over Steaua Bucureşti last month. He is yet to score a Premier League goal in 2013.

“I want to do the things I used to do all my life,” said Torres.

“I did them at Atletico, I did them at Liverpool and I am not doing them at Chelsea. I am working on it. If I knew the reason, I would fix it. The only way is to work at it.”

“I know my statistics have not been the same as in other years but I’m fighting to get back to those statistics, I am getting better but I’m still not at the level I want. I will try my heart out for this club.

“There are too many things I have to give back to these people and I want to show my thanks to them.”

Chelsea are still in the hunt for two trophies, with their Europa League quarter-final coming up on Thursday, followed closely by the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City on Sunday.

“Hopefully this season we can give them two more trophies and next season we can fight again for the biggest ones: the Champions League and the Premier League,” Torres said.

I do not believe Fernando Torres has earned the right to talk about Chelsea FC next season. He may have scored twice on Thursday, but he is still our third best striker (including Romelu Lukaku). His wages are way too high for a player who deserves, at best, to be sat on our bench. I don’t think Roman Abramovich could possibly be eyeing up another season that could be decided by Nando’s goals (or lack there of!).

Mar 152013
 

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 Posted by at 9:13 pm
Jan 042013
 

Manchester City defender Micah Richards has reportedly become a surprise target for Chelsea FC.

Chelsea were expected to try to sign an experienced centre-back, but now appear to be chasing Micah Richards, with a view to Branislav Ivanovic returning to play in the centre, allowing David Luiz more time in midfield.

Richards is currently out injured, and expected to make his return in early February.

The Englishman was at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night to watch Chelsea’s 1-0 loss at the hands of Queens Park Rangers, sparking various rumours to circulate. Rafa Benitez when asked, did not rule out such a move, further fuelling speculation the versatile Man City defender could be a Blue player in the near future.

Richards won his first Premier League title last year with Manchester City, in a tense final day thriller, in which City scored two goals in injury time to clinch the title, and could be Chelsea’s third January signing, after Demba Ba and 18 year-old right-back Wallace who now have Chelsea contracts. Wallace however is to spend the rest of the season with his previous club Fluminense.

I don’t personally believe buying a right-back is a priority. Ivanovic has been awesome in that position, and Azpilicueta has impressed as well. I think replacements for Ashley Cole and a centre-back to allow David Luiz to make a permanent move to midfield should be at the top of our wish-list, with a young forward like Taison Freda or Willian.

Jan 032013
 

Queens Park Rangers’ boos Harry Redknapp has claimed that yesterday’s 1-0 win over Chelsea was one of his best ever victories.

Chelsea were entering the match in form, having won 7 of their last 8 matches, with QPR however started the game on the back of three consecutive defeats, and without an away win for over a year!

Chelsea dominated much of the game, but could only muster up two shots on target, from 26 shooting chances. This allowed Shaun Wright-Phillips goal for QPR to snatch all 3 points.

After the match, Redknapp told reporters: “I said to Joe Jordan after the game that I can’t remember having many better wins than this one.

“To come here against a Chelsea team who were absolutely flying and after the Liverpool and West Brom defeat, it was a great result for us.

“We changed it up, I stuck Adel Taarabt up front. He’s never played there before, but he gave us a focal point where we could hold the ball up. It was a good night.

“Liverpool was difficult. The way we set the team up, I felt the players didn’t really understand what we were trying to do. Yesterday we spent a couple of hours with them doing loads of shadow work, so everyone knew exactly where they should be.

“Most importantly, we worked hard. If they all graft, we’ve got a chance.”

Chelsea fans will no doubt be disappointed to lose a game they dominated, but you won’t win games without challenging the goalkeeper. I think Rafa didn’t give QPR enough respect and paid the price.

Jan 032013
 

Marko Marin has denied rumours suggesting he was about to be sent out on loan, with a Bundesliga return reported.

Marin has struggled to break into the team since joining Chelsea, having missed 3 months through injury, and a loan move had been expected to help the player gain match-fitness.

The German winger signed for the Blues from Werder Bremen in August for around £7million, and signed a 5 year deal.

Marin had been heavily involved in Chelsea’s pre-season, and had been expected to play a big part in the team’s season before being ruled out until November.

The 23 year-old has declared that he wishes to stay at Chelsea and fight his way into the team, and does not wish to return to Germany regardless of the interest in him.

Marin said: ‘I signed a five-year deal at Chelsea, so there is no reason to put that into question after just five months here.

‘I have also been out injured for three months. Of course I would love to play more minutes, but there are quite a few factors why I have been unable to do so.

‘Rafa Benitez is a good manager and the club have put their trust in me and I have a clear idea about my future role.

‘I could imagine a loan deal. It could be an ideal option to get me playing more regularly and help me with my general development, but I think at this time it is out of the question and I won’t be heading back to the Bundesliga.’

The winger has failed to make an impact because of his injury, and I hope in time he can bring something new to the team.

He played in last night´s 1-0 loss to Queens Park Rangers, and had a poor game. I don’t think the German fits into our team currently, and think he will need more time in training to form an understanding with his team-mates.

Hopefully he can make an impact before the January window shuts. Do you see a future for the German winger at Chelsea?

Jul 112012
 

Barcelona are looking into re-signing Oriol Romeu from Chelsea as a replacement for Seydou Keita. The defensive midfielder won 14 trophies during his four years at Barcelona but had a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave for free if he didn’t play enough games in a season. The 32-year old has joined Chinese club Dalian Aerbin on massive wages and Barcelona are desperate for a replacement.

Romeu only joined Chelsea last summer after failing to tie down a place in the starting eleven for Barcelona. He rose through the club’s youth system and played 49 times for the B team but only twice for the full team. He started well for Chelsea under Villas-Boas but lost his place in the second half of the season under Di Matteo.

He is going to play at the Olympics and has stated that he is unaware of interest from Barcelona, but he must be anxious about his position in the team. The 20-year old will want some reassurance from Chelsea that he will be given an opportunity. There is some kind of buy back clause in his contract but, apparently, it only gives Barcelona first refusal if Chelsea decide to sell.

One youngster who will be leaving Chelsea, if only briefly, is 17-year old central defender Nathaniel Chalobah. The talented young player helped Chelsea win the FA youth cup last season, and will continue his progress in the Championship. Di Matteo is looking for a loan deal to continue his education. Chalobah is currently with England’s under-19 team at the European finals in Estonia.

The defender has scored one goal already and helped England to reach the semi-final stage. A star is born.