“As you can see, we are working a lot ” Conte reveals Chelsea’s plans with youth players

Chelsea are trying to be a successful club by promoting players through the academy rather than splashing cash or building castles in the air with words, claims manager Antonio Conte. A mixed form this season coupled with the board’s failure to acquire transfer targets has left Conte frustrated since joining the club at the start of last season.

However, it is the Italian’s belief that the club’s plan is to look towards the future by developing the young players and not spending enormous money on star players. The latest examples of Conte’s approach were the signings of 24-year-old midfielder Ross Barkley and 23-year-old left-back Emerson Palmieri during the January transfer window.

“As you can see, we are working a lot also with, for example, Ampadu. He’s only 17 years old,” Conte told the club’s official website.

“Christensen is only 21 years old. Bakayoko is only 23. Zappacosta only 25. We took a lot of young players. With Christensen, we are trying to develop the young players of the Academy.

“I think we are doing a fantastic job. We are trying to build something important with work – not with words or money.”

The Chelsea manager also discussed his plans to tackle the busy schedule, which has been more hectic this season following the return of Champions League football to Stamford Bridge.

The 48-year-old feels the Blues have been one of the very few lucky clubs in the league to have very fewer injury concerns, though he does not think his squad is big enough to compete for all the competitions and offer rest to the players whenever they are in need.

“If you compare to the other clubs you can see we have less injuries,” he added.

“The only problem this season is that we are playing a lot and our squad wasn’t big enough to give the right rest. I think we are working less than last season.

“For sure you have to change your plan, your work, when you play every three days – it’s impossible to give intensity in these two days between one game and another. Sometimes, when I had the possibility, I tried to give a window of little work for the players that I decided to rest.

“But in this country, with four competitions and the great intensity of every game, you have to face a season with a big squad. I think it’s very important to understand and find the best solution for the future.”

It is indeed nice that Conte is trying things with young players. However, the fact that we keep sending academy products out on loan only to offload them without offering them a chance is something we need to change and let’s hope it changes quickly.

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