Sunday, 12 February 2012

Loans: Boon or Bane?

It doesn't take a lot of acumen to understand that over the years, the transfer market hasn't been Chelsea's forte. Taking a glance at the first team now and comparing it to that of last year (let alone years gone by) enforces this viewpoint.

In the Mourinho era, we had a more than able back-up for almost all positions on the field. Multi-position men in Geremi and Gallas. Speedy wingers in SWP, Duff and Robben. Full-backs in Ferreira and Cole and Bridge. We also had a world class keeper in Cudicini a back-up to Cech. Yes, they all might have come and gone at different times, but I don't think the situation was as dire as not having back-ups for people struggling for form.

Just take the case of transfer windows from recent years. We sold the only real back-up for a Malouda-like player in Zhirkov, and didn't get a like-for-like player in. I'm not saying we need another Malouda, but one should remember how good Malouda was the year we won the double, and the first half of last season. No Manager could've gauged the alarming drop of performance that he has shown. Joe Cole left and we got in Yossi. Like-for-like, but where is he now? When we are searching for 'creative-sparks', we have loaned him out.

The story of the loan doesn't end there. Through loan spells, we've lost two players with enormous potential in Sinclair and Borini. Anyone who doesn't rate Sinclair, needs to take a good look at the Chelsea squad and tell me he is inferior to anyone on the roster. Last season, when the team was struggling to keep its place in the top four, we had another loanee banging in goals for fun at Bolton. Sure, we're reaping those rewards, but why wasn't such a design put in place for other players with immense talent?
This season, another first-team hopeful in McEachran left for a loan-spell, hopefully, to come back. The Van Aanholts and the Brumas and the Kakutas, and the list just goes on and on.

The club's managerial policy hasn't helped anyone, has it? A talented bloke who may have been bought under Mourinho (though not by Mourinho), would have had to have been nurtured by the Mourinho staff. Then Jose moves on, and then the little kid gets disillusioned by the new guy who comes in. Isn't it a very possible scenario? There's no point in bringing in youth if the perceived solution to everything is sacking the guy who is supposed to nurture him, and gradually involve the kid in his plans.

There is so much to gain from a well chalked out loan program for developing talent, with subsequent reward for performance. We've lost talent due to hopelessness. That never bodes well for an organization. At the risk of stating the obvious, I believe there are serious lessons to be learnt here. I hope the people in charge do not make the Sinclair and Borini goof-ups again.

This guy was once a Chelsea player. True Story. Now he is one of the premier league's decent wingers. 

By Liquidator via Ayyam

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