Antonio Conte has criticised a specific trio of ‘impatient’ former Chelsea youngsters after their respective departures from the club.
The players who were presumably put to the sword by the Italian are Watford’s Nathaniel Chalobah, Liverpool’s Dominic Solanke and AFC Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake – three developing professionals who were tipped for big things at Stamford Bridge before their exits.
Voicing his opinion via Mirror, Conte said:
“Sometimes, young players think they can play easily in the first team, but that’s not true.”
A very loaded statement from the Premier League winning manager, although the south west Londoners have also themselves been slammed in the past for not offering enough first-team opportunities to their youth squad products.
Perhaps the biggest loss was Ake, who joined the Cherries during the summer for £20m, after completing a highly successful stint at the club during the first half of the 2016-17 campaign.
With Chelsea not necessarily taking his potential seriously, Eddie Howe subsequently made Ake a permanent signing at the Vitality Stadium, an acquisition which has been lauded by many as one of the signings of the transfer window to date.
The 22-year-old was drafted back into the Chelsea squad for the second half of last season and was used predominantly as a rotational option in both the Blues’ defence and midfield; the Dutchman leavin the club seemed to baffle a large number of Chelsea fans, and perhaps Conte too by the sound of things.
Five appearances is all that Ake mustered in 2017 for Chelsea, despite making 12 accomplished outings for Bournemouth during his productive loan spell.
Although now that Chalobah, Solanke and indeed Ake have headed for pastures new, they can all prepare for the coming campaign safe in the knowledge that they are now in-fact regarded as invaluable members of their current folds – Conte’s words will perhaps fall upon deaf ears, seeing as they might argue they never got a real chance at the club.