By Jake Grice
Chelsea have completed the signing Porto’s young winger Christian Atsu. The Ghanaian flyer is valued at around £3.5 million and is Mourinho’s 5th signing this summer.
The move has led to a lot of people questioning the club’s transfer policy and expressing doubts over what this means the youngsters career prospects but I struggle to see why.
A lot of people have either failed to note or simply don’t realise that the club are not signing every single one of these exciting young attacking players, with a view to them walking in to the first team.
People see Chelsea signing another attacking player and instantly write the player off as wasted potential or a bench warmer but in reality, Chelsea have devised a very clever way to help balance the books as is now required under UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules but also keep the squad groaning with exciting talent.
By signing players at around 20-years-old, for moderately low transfer fees and then loaning them out the club reap the rewards on many levels but none more so than financially.
The perfect case point for this is Kevin De Bruyne. Chelsea signed the Belgian attacker for around £7 million and then loaned him for a season and a half to continue his development.
In doing so they pass on all the costs of travel, accommodation, food, health care, training etc.
On top of that they hand over either a percentage or the entirety of the players wages and in some cases receive payments for the loan. Bremen receive one of Europe’s rising stars, De Bruyne gets regular game time, Chelsea are content in the knowledge that one of their prodigies is developing at much faster rate than he would at Cobham, and at a fraction of the cost.
Fast forward to this summer’s transfer window and Chelsea start receiving bids of over double the fee they paid to Genk two seasons ago.
Obviously De Bruyne was so impressive Chelsea have decided to keep him at the club but the club potentially could have cashed in big time on the Belgian’s services without the player ever actually making a first team appearance for Chelsea.
Thibaut Courtois is another player the club may benefit from. Chelsea bought him for around £7 million but the player is now valued at closer to £20 million.
With the players future up in the air, down to Cech’s stalwart brilliance and Courtois reluctance to sign a new contract, the Blues could potentially cash in and receive a huge amount of profit despite having actually very little to do with Courtois development.
Hopefully this will never happen as the Belgian stopper is pushing the best keepers in the world right now despite being only 21, which just shows the benefits of Chelsea’s youth policy. The club get first dibs on some of the worlds finest young talent, without having to pay any transfer fee and if the player isn’t needed the club cash in.
Occasionally one will slip through the net, Nemanja Matic being the most obvious example, but in general Chelsea win every single time.
Manchester United and Arsenal have been scrabbling around all summer for quality signings but have come up short. But, before the window even opened had Chelsea added Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku to the squad for free and its hard to see how you would get much change from £40-£45 million for those two in the current market.
So fear not all you concerned onlookers Christian Atsu’s career is in the safest hands possible and will only blossom from here on in. If after a few seasons he isn’t quite up to the unenviable task of removing Eden Hazard from the left wing then both club and player will undoubtedly reap the rewards of a transfer deal. The footballing world loves to criticise Chelsea and the club and fans expect it but next time a rival fan ridicules Chelsea’s ingenious transfer plan send them here.