Chelsea’s investment in their young players is paying off, while Manchester United’s underperforming players continue to struggle.


It is yet to be determined if Chelsea’s choice to focus on potential rather than established skill in their transfer dealings will lead to success. However, there is one aspect of their recruitment approach under Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital’s ownership that deserves recognition.

Manchester United can take lessons from the lack of mercy. Erik ten Hag has consistently expressed his desire to enhance the club’s culture since taking charge at Old Trafford, but this echoes what Frank Lampard stated after being named interim manager at Chelsea in April last year. Lampard, known for his hard work during his time as a player, was surprised by the decline in training standards. Chelsea, with a squad that was too large and included too many unhappy players, had to take action.

A reboot was necessary in the previous summer. Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, the co-heads of sports, initiated a purge and were unafraid to release numerous experienced players.

The decision to part ways with Mason Mount, who has not yet made a significant impact at United, was made ruthlessly. Chelsea took a pragmatic approach, considering the high wages and declining form of some players. Other players were discontent and in need of a change of environment. As a result, Chelsea sold Christian Pulisic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Kalidou Koulibaly, Édouard Mendy, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mateo Kovacic, Kai Havertz, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and César Azpilicueta, while N’Golo Kanté left on a free transfer and Hakim Ziyech, Kepa Arrizabalaga, and Romelu Lukaku were loaned out.

How do the current calls appear? Chelsea faced criticism for losing experienced players, but should they have any remorse? Perhaps only Kovacic, who has primarily been a substitute for Manchester City, and Havertz, who has had inconsistent performances for Arsenal, have found success at larger clubs.

Chelsea, who aimed to simplify their salary expenses and establish a strong foundation for the future, do not need to reflect on the past. Mauricio Pochettino has assumed leadership of a promising young team and has the ability to shape a squad according to his vision. Despite currently ranking 10th and displaying inconsistency, Chelsea’s results do not accurately depict their progress. Pochettino is pleased with his team’s efforts. While some may disagree with their approach of acquiring inexperienced players, it is incorrect to claim that Chelsea lacks a plan. They do have a plan and are confident in its success.

Mason Mount and Erik ten Hag

The difference between Ten Hag’s current situation and Pochettino’s is clear. United has managed to win games and is currently five points ahead of Chelsea, who they will face on Wednesday night. However, Ten Hag is facing pressure as a manager. Unlike Pochettino, he is not dealing with reports of discord within the team.

The memory returns to the previous summer. While Ten Hag displayed his control by dismissing Cristiano Ronaldo in the previous season, it has been more challenging to get rid of other outcasts. With instability trickling down from the club’s leadership, the dynamic of control has changed.

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In the past, a player’s tenure with United would end when Sir Alex Ferguson deemed it so. However, last year, the team was unable to offload Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay despite their lack of playing time and interest from West Ham. Anthony Martial, who has consistently underperformed, remains on a high salary. Jadon Sancho has been excluded from the team after a disagreement with Ten Hag. There are too many players not contributing enough. It is unclear why Victor Lindelöf is still a member of the club.

The atmosphere in the camp is not improved by this. It does not facilitate United’s efforts to plan for the future. As Sir Jim Ratcliffe awaits the opportunity to purchase a share of the club, he may benefit from observing Chelsea’s approach to rebuilding.


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