Chelsea have enjoyed a fantastic campaign under Antonio Conte but criticisms still remain at the West London outfit’s use of youngsters, as they have an abundance of players waiting for their opportunity behind the scenes.
The Blues have remarkably failed to see an academy graduate become a first-team regular at the club since John Terry, who is approaching the end of his career at Stamford Bridge, and it’s difficult to judge where the next Chelsea-developed hero will emerge from.
Sensationally, it’s now emerged that Chelsea turned down the opportunity to sign Monaco starlet Kylian Mbappe four years ago for just £17k, The Daily Mirror reports, instead promoting Tammy Abraham and Dominic Solanke through the youth ranks.
The decision not to sign the now 18-year-old rated at three-figures seems incredibly wrong, especially as neither Solanke or Abraham have been handed a genuine chance to excel in the first-team.
Where are Solanke & Abraham?
Tammy Abraham has excelled on-loan with Championship outfit Bristol City this season, scoring 23 goals, the second-highest in the division, to help the Robins fend off the threat of relegation and he’s due to return to Stamford Bridge this summer.
Dominic Solanke, meanwhile, spent last season on-loan at Vitesse Arnheim but remained at Stamford Bridgee this season, although he’s set to leave in the summer after being frozen out of the first-team fold following a breakdown in contract talks.
Solanke, 19, made his Blues debut in the Champions League back in 2014 but has not featured for the first-team since. Abraham, meanwhile, made two substitute appearances in the Premier League last season prior to his loan move in the summer.
Would Mbappe have made it?
Whilst Mbappe is widely regarded to be the hottest prospect in European football right now, it’s debatable as to whether he would have had an opening at Chelsea. Given the Blues track record, it’s likely that the Frenchman would be far from where he is now.
As Mbappe prepares for the Champions League semi-final with Juventus tonight and eyes a spot in France’s World Cup squad next summer, it’s clear the teenager has benefitted from the sequence of events four years ago that led Chelsea not to land his services.
Even if Chelsea were to put up the funds to sign Mbappe this summer, it’s difficult to see how he would be managed in West London- especially due to the mishandling of last season’s Ligue 1 breakthrough star Michy Batshuayi.