By, Jordan Harbin
BREAKING: Former Chelsea Loanee finds permanent deal elsewhere…with no buyback clause attached!!!! (Eeeeeek!)
Loans…who needs ‘em? Am I right? I feel a large consensus of Chelsea supporters postulating this weighty conundrum throughout their frontal lobes. With the influx of Chelsea click-bait tagging “Sold Chelsea XI: What Could Have Been”, what is even the point of having an academy/loanee army one may ask? Most of them get sold to the clubs they were loaned to anyways, right? Wrong.
Chelsea’s dubbed “Loan Army” are just that. Trained militants with a blue purpose. A purpose which has been lost by some of it’s defectors, however, it is a purpose nonetheless. These boys are brought into the club as pimple-faced noobs but leave as broad-shouldered warriors poised for action at a moments notice. The long unheard cry (which albeit feels more like a faint whimper) of “let the kids play!” seems even outright ignored at times. So, why is it important to have an army waiting in the wings? Because armies are cool….duh…
More importantly though, it is because Chelsea understands the importance of youth. Obviously, the application of this understanding can seem to be presently lacking, but the club comprehends their value. Our youth team has won the FA Youth Cup the last four consecutive years and a total of six times since 2009. These kids are good. So, it goes without saying that they would get noticed by clubs throughout Europe and abroad to test their metal and prove their worth to the Great Italian General. It is this very next step from Chelsea’s youth academy to prospective loans where the real action takes place. The long training sessions, the countless numbers of “keepie uppies”, and the endless snapchat stories all pay off. Blue militants take to the battlefields and fight to spread sweet, sweet Chelsea glory to all lands and peoples. Keep your wits about you though, not all who take this perilous journey are successful! It takes patience, strength, and adaptability to adjust to playing styles in a few weeks time. It should be stated that a majority of these soldiers are victorious in their conquests, and some even more victorious than they should be! So why can’t they cut it back in the Motherland? Risk.
The calculated risking of elite clubs to balance new and young players with those who have already proven their worthiness. Some tempt this fate with fielding all youth, others with none. Chelsea find themselves, somewhere in the faint middle with a heavy lean to the latter. Are there youth present in the Chelsea squad? Yes. Do they receive a lot of playing time? No. This balance is important though. This point was clearly seen in the stylish yet starkly out-classed Monaco versus Juventus of this years Champions League semi-final. The sheer experience and know-how that Juventus displayed (which notably did not carry over into the final) proved that it was Men vs boys. Does that mean that youth are to never be played at the expense of experience? Simply no. After watching countless reports of young former Blue soldiers being sold into slavery….I mean…other clubs. It pangs deeply into the heart of a concerned Chelsea supporter. These boys now men have by in large far exceeded expectations at their loan clubs and still cannot find themselves featuring in the ranks at The Bridge. So why then do we even loan players? Because these trained militants are itching for a fight and gnawing at the chance to show their value, and when they return….they return as men. They return prepared to face the truth, because yes, they can handle the truth! With every somberly written Instagram post to the Club that taught them everything, shows a true love that could be but for now just isn’t. These men, now returning from their study abroad programs have decisions to make. Some choose the lonely path less trod to profess their undying love to the club that made them who they are, others choose to fan the brief yet hot flame they had with their foreign flings.
It is to this point though that I draw my conclusion. Chelsea creates men from boys, trained militia from tiny tykes, and gives them opportunities. Opportunities that no other club could give the way that Chelsea gives, and we dare not withhold that beautiful gift from those who are worthy of that task. From those who will always secretly wear Chelsea pajamas to bed, get Chelsea crest tattoos in unforeseen locations, and carry their Chelsea approved lunch boxes to work!!! So, take courage Chelsea faithful and embrace the Blue Way!! KTBFFH
Thumbnail Image courtesy of: The Building Academy
Would you like to be a contributor for the London is Blue (LIB) team? Click on the “Be A Contributor” link contained in the menu bar, fill out a short form, and we can get started!