Belgian Starlet Charly Musonda Set to Leave Chelsea in January Over Lack of Opportunities

Acadamy graduate Charly Musonda has told Chelsea he intends to leave the club in the January window, according to the ?Mirror.

Antonio Conte is said to be concerned at the decision and contests that Chelsea are desperately short of numbers and quality at Stamford Bridge. Despite this, the Belgian prodigy is seemingly decided, after growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of minutes provided by the Italian – making just four appearances this season, two being in the less-esteemed League Cup.  

The relationship between Musonda and Conte could become increasingly strained as Chelsea seem somewhat reluctant to facilitate a move for the 21-year-old forward. 

Chelsea v Everton - Carabao Cup Fourth Round

The pair already had an indifferent rapport, after the youngster took to Instagram to display his discontent at Chelsea regarding game time last month.

Over a black screen the post read: “You sacrifice, you work hard, harder, you give more than what’s expected, and often more than you can, because you love what you do and clearly more than you should and what do you get back? Literally nothing… done.”

“However, with this being said I will continue with same dedication and commitment to this great game.”

It’s safe to assume things wont end on the best of terms between the Belgian and the Chelsea contingency when he does eventually get his move, especially if the forward swaps the Blue of West London for the Red of North London, with Arsenal reportedly interested.

However the recent ascension of 17-year-old winger Reiss Nelson through the Gunners own ranks, could put Arsene Wenger off trying to bring Musonda to the club.


Brilliant Champions League Stat Shows Just How Much Young English Talent Is Breaking Through

?Dele Alli and Harry Kane were flying the flag for young English talent in the Champions League this week, inspiring a Tottenham side slowly emerging as a European force to a 3-1 victory over back-to-back reigning champions Real Madrid at Wembley.

And, at a time when young English talent is being celebrated for the achievements of the age restricted national teams – at the Under-17 World Cup last week, but also the Under-20 World Cup and Under-19 European Championship earlier this year – the Spurs pair certainly were not alone when it came to young Englishman performing at the elite level.

Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League

As many as 11 English players aged 24 or under were on the pitch in a Champions League game on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

To compare with other nations, as writer Daniel Storey has pointed out, France had 16, Portugal had 13 and Germany had 12. Brazil were matched with Brazil on 11, but there were fewer young Spaniards than Englishmen. The same can be said of Italians and Belgians, all countries with a reputation greater than England’s for producing top players.

It wasn’t simply that Alli (21) and Kane (24) played a peripheral role as Spurs thumped Real, as they scored all three goals between them. They were joined on the pitch by international colleagues Eric Dier (23) and Harry Winks (21), who were paired together in central midfield.

Established stars John Stones (23) and Raheem Sterling (22) were in action across the continent as Manchester City became only the second English ever to beat Napoli in Italy, matching the achievement of Swindon Town in the 1970 Anglo-Italian Cup.

SSC Napoli v Manchester City - UEFA Champions League

Meanwhile, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (24) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (19) both started as Liverpool beat Maribor at home to remain top of their group. The Reds also had fellow youngsters Joe Gomez and Dominic Solanke on the bench, who remained unused.

24 hours it had been Manchester United using English talent in Europe, with Scott McTominay (20) impressing on his full Champions League debut at home against Benfica. Jesse Lingard (24) also started, while Marcus Rashford (20) came off the bench in the second half.

Manchester United v SL Benfica - UEFA Champions League

Chelsea were the only one of the five Premier League sides in action not to use an English player aged 24 or under, failing to even name on in their squad. Gary Cahill, 31, and Danny Drinkwater, 27, were the only Englishmen on the pitch for the 3-0 humbling against Roma.


4 Reasons Why Swansea Loanee Tammy Abraham Fully Deserves His England Call-Up

Having qualified for the World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Lithuania, the Three Lions will use the next international break as a platform to build upon ahead of next year’s major tournament. 

Gareth Southgate’s squad will face off against both Brazil and Germany in friendlies intended to prepare the squad for the tough tests they will come up against in Russia. However, manager Southgate may use it as a chance to test some of his younger players. 

The squad has been announced, and Swansea loanee Tammy Abraham has been called up for the first time, alongside Liverpool’s Joe Gomez and Crystal Palace loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek. 

The rangey striker has earned his call up through a number of impressive performances, and here are four reasons that spell out why he deserved to be in contention for the first team…

1. He’s Become an Ever-Present for Swansea

A number of clubs were vying for Abraham’s signature in the summer, with the Swans lucky enough to bring him on a season-long loan from Chelsea. After staring for Bristol City last term – netting 26 times in the Championship – he earned himself a chance in England’s top flight. 

Chelsea didn’t believe he was ready for their first team, but he is shining at Swansea and only seems to be growing in confidence. Abraham has proved a more than suitable replacement for Fernando Llorente, who joined Spurs, using his height and frame to his advantage. 

2. Impressive Goalscoring Record

Following the aforementioned 26 goal haul at Bristol City, Abraham is showing no signs of slowing down despite stepping up a division. In nine Premier League starts this season, the 20-year-old has scored four and registered one assist. 

He is in a position where he can learn from experienced players such as Wilfried Bony and Leroy Fer, as well as being part of squad with exciting youth players, with Renato Sanches joining from Bayern Munich on loan. 

It’s fair to say he looks comfortable in the Premier League and should his goalscoring form continue, Chelsea have got a wonderful talent on their hands. 

3. Sensible Alternative for Harry Kane

One area that England are lacking quite heavily is up front. Alongside Harry Kane, England have Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford – although the latter has been playing wide for the most part of the season. 

Whereas Vardy is more direct, Abraham can offer a clinical edge to the squad, with him having the ability to score at any time during the game. The 20-year-old is talented, physical and full of confidence, something England should nurture ahead of the World Cup. 

4. Valuable International Experience

Exposing any younger player to international football is crucially important to their development. Abraham has come up through the ranks, featuring for the U18s, U19s and U21s, where he starred as the Young Lions lost in a semi-final shoot-out to Germany at the European Championships. 

Being around some of the more experienced players in a senior international setup will be important for Abraham in the long-term, as it something he will be very familiar with in the coming years. Giving him minutes on the pitch will also give him a taste of what’s to come. 


Thibaut Courtois Hoping to Prove Chelsea Don’t Miss Nemanja Matic Ahead of Crunch Clash

?Nemanja Matic’s move to Manchester United has proven to be one of the most instrumental signings from the summer transfer window, providing the Red Devils with much need assurance in the centre of the park.

The absence of Matic in the Chelsea team has seen some surprising results, despite not having his best season during last year’s campaign. His presence alongside N’Golo Kante has been sorely missed, with Tiemoue Bakayoko yet to reach the maturity and calmness that the Serbian possesses.

Arsenal v Chelsea - Premier League

With Chelsea and Manchester United preparing for a heavyweight clash on Sunday, Blues keeper Thibaut Courtois spoke of his former teammate’s departure during the summer, and how the club were helpless in his desire to leave for Manchester to reunite with Jose Mourinho.

As reported by the Independent, the Belgian was asked whether the players were surprised at the Serbian’s exit. He said: “That’s not my decision to make. Those are questions you need to ask to the people who made that happen. 

“If a player nowadays wants to go to a team, then he has – I don’t want to say the power – but if he has a strong will to leave and join another team then it is hard for the club. You cannot just ignore him and say ‘you cannot leave’ because then you have a disappointed player who won’t play at his best.”

“So obviously for us you give a player to another big team, but they are choices that are made in football and we have some quality midfielders, so I hope we can show on Sunday that we are better.”

The 25 year-old went on to hint that Chelsea’s decision to sell the holding midfielder means that they have lost some much needed balance in midfield.

“We know Nemanja’s qualities, he is someone who last year gave us the balance as well. He decided to go to another team, so we won’t live in the past. Our midfield is very good, we have very strong players so I don’t know if we miss him.”

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Courtois and Chelsea play host to Matic and Manchester United in a top four clash that promises to be an enticing Premier League affair


Chelsea’s Existential Crisis: Is Their Managerial Model for Success Finally Breaking Down?

Chelsea’s players cut forlorn figures at the end of their 3-0 defeat to Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday night. In truth, their demeanour at the final whistle had not differed from the one they had been showing for the preceding 30 minutes. Comparatively, in spite of Roma’s early goal, in the first 30 minutes of the game they had been as electric going forward as they had been all season. 

This perfectly encapsulates the highs and lows of their tumultuous campaign thus far; which has been a series of periods of ‘crisis’ followed by restoration, before eventually finding its way back to another crisis. 

This unease started in the summer, when Antonio Conte was denied the acquisition of several ‘key’ transfer targets and was left with a strikingly shallow squad, considering the extra commitments of European football present this season. It was then exponentially amplified with the opening day defeat to Burnley and, following a rejuvenation of sorts epitomised by the titanic victory in Madrid, reared its ugly head again in the defeats to Manchester City and Crystal Palace.

After a run of three victories leading up to the game in Rome on Tuesday night, the odds for another collective collapse should’ve retrospectively been far greater. On the surface, all this accounts to is a stuttering start, not unheard of in South West London – look at last season. 

Nevertheless, there is something about the current predicament in the capital that speaks to a wider problem within the club itself. Throughout the Abramovich era, Chelsea have been an organisation unafraid of chopping and changing managers, acquiring and discarding in what feels like the same breath – this has been well documented. Because of this, it is universally acknowledged that success in one instant does not guarantee security for the moments proceeding it.

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League

From Carlo Ancelotti, to Roberto Di Matteo, to Jose Mourinho (twice), the club has never been willing to reward notable success with any kind of long term stability. Up until now, this has never caused any veritable problems in the club’s pursuit of such triumph, but the cracks are now starting to form on this managerial model for success: the expendability of these managers. 

Before Antonio Conte was seen hanging from an assortment of Premier League dugouts in ecstatic celebration, there was a time of apprehension regarding his impending reign at Stamford Bridge. 

While there were few doubts over his skill as a coach, something he has confirmed time and again throughout his tenure, there was uncertainty as to how distinctive his methods would be in contrast to those of Mourinho’s; methods that drove the squad to it’s knees the season before.

AS Roma v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League

Tactically, they are cut from a very different cloth, but in terms of motivation and requiring every ounce of a player’s commitment, they are very much alligned. And here lies the problem. In spite of player turnover, this is still fundamentally the same squad that fragmented and then collapsed under Mourinho, and it’s now flirting with a similar fate under Conte.

And, while the players deserve a portion of the blame for such a situation, they are not the primary offenders. This is the issue with obstinately continuing to treat managers with such clear disdain, and not dealing with the players in the same respect. The persistent pandering to players desires and ‘needs’ at Stamford Bridge has resulted in a squad ready, and incomprehensibly allowed, to down tools at the slightest hardship.

Such a characteristic becomes embedded in the fabric of the team, regardless of changing personnel, and can eventually destroy the very essence of the club itself. If this mentality remains, it will be extremely difficult for any manager to come in, however talented they may be, and sustain the level of success required at the club.

If the club wishes to have continued prosperity in the future, then they must first repair the damage that this perpetuation of convenient change has caused, rather than looking for the quick-fix of a new manager to temporarily paint over the cracks of its institutional affliction.

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