Emenalo defends Chelsea youth policy

Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo has defended the club's youth record while also playing down Tottenham's development of young talents.

The Blues are often criticised for their reluctance to blood young players, with club captain John Terry the last academy product to establish himself at Stamford Bridge almost 20 years ago. However, midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has come into the fold in recent weeks.

Chelsea's under-19s won the UEFA Youth League for a second-consecutive season on Monday and have the chance to win their fifth FA Youth Cup since 2010 later this week, and Emenalo insists it is not only the Blues who struggle to introduce superstars to the first team.

"We try to remind them it's not just a Chelsea problem," he told reporters.

"That's what they hear. (But) with all the hoopla (around Tottenham), it's the one player.

"The one key player is Kane, Delle Ali they bought from MK Dons, (Tom) Carroll is a peripheral player and (Eric) Dier they bought (from Sporting Lisbon).

"What we want them to do is to be patient because they (the parents) want it quicker than the boys want it or the boys are ready to take it."

Although Terry could leave Chelsea in the summer when his contract expires, Emenalo is adamant the club remain committed to producing homegrown talent. 

"We love the idea of having players who love Chelsea Football Club," he added.

"Everybody is talking about JT (Terry), and people need to understand the level of respect we have for JT and for (Frank) Lampard.

"Those guys showed what the club is all about and they showed the others who came and made the (Didier) Drogbas, the (Claude) Makeleles and (Michael) Ballacks fall in love with the club."

He added: "With the investment we are making and where we think the game is going and the competition that we have, you can't just buy your way out of trouble all the time.

"We can see what we have and we can compare them to what we see in other countries in Europe and other clubs in England and we think we have very, very good young players who should be able to come through.

"It's a massive job to try to keep them patient and to keep them going until they get here, but I think from next season there will be signs."

Meanwhile, various reports in England suggest Chelsea will reignite their interest in Everton defender John Stones this summer.

The club made numerous attempts to sign the England international last year, and despite the 21-year-old's poor form this season, incoming boss Antonio Conte still wants to sign the centre-back.

Comments