Chelsea’s biggest move of the summer so far came from the same mind as Cole Palmer transfer

Chelsea fans are largely not too happy with the work being done by Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart. Unfairly or not, they’re being blamed for a lot of the transfer windows mistakes and comical manager movements we’ve seen since they took over.

But their mistakes are also serving to make their colleague Joe Shields look better. Shields is “co-director of recruitment and talent,” rather than “cop-sporting director,” and he’s been credited with being the one who pushed for Cole Palmer, as well as some of the other successes of the last 18 months.

His history at Man City was part of the reason the owners were so keen to bring him in, and we’re already seeing the benefits of those connections in moves like the one for Palmer.

It seems he’s riding that rising tide internally too. Our writer Simon Phillips has explained on his Substack today that Shields is the man behind the move for Enzo Maresca:

Joe Shields gives a talk.

A Shields’ headed move

“Sources have said Shields is a big backer of Maresca and was fully behind his appointment, giving his very positive opinions on why he believed it would be a great appointment,” Phillips wrote.

“Co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart were also fully behind Maresca and in the end, the decision soon became unanimous. Winstanley and Laurence soon decided on Maresca and that he would be the one they wanted to bring in.”

This move is a big risk overall, but if it works out it will truly cement Shield’s place internally and externally as the most trusted and respected in our sporting structure. Maybe we’ve been too credible in giving Shields all the credit for all the good things of the last year and a bit, but knowing he’s the one behind the move for Maresca certainly makes us feel a little more positive about it than we would have otherwise.

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