Chelsea offer out of contract midfielder a new deal to prevent worsening youth exodus

There was devastating news earlier this week when it was revealed that one of the brightest talents in the Chelsea academy had decided to decline the offer of a scholarship and go to Liverpool instead.

Rio Ngumoha is on his way to Anfield, apparently dispirited by the lack of opportunities and pathway at Chelsea, who continue to sign a steady stream of teenagers to block the path of the players they’ve produced themselves.

The battle to keep hold of players like Ngumoha continues, and next up is a much older player, who is on the cusp of making his breakthrough into the senior game. Sam Rak-Sakyi has worked his way up through the youth ranks and is now 19. His contract has expired, but according to Nizaar Kinsella of the BBC, the Blues are working hard to renew it.

Sam Rak-Sakyi playing for Chelsea’s U21 team.

Chelsea must show they’re still the place to be for young talent.

Chelsea are never going to be able to give out opportunities to every young kid who comes through – there’s just no room for that when results are paramount. But they can certainly do a better job of identifying their brightest prospects and then making sure they feel valued and are given the chances they deserve.

Even the chance to be in a senior matchday squad and maybe play a couple of minutes at the end as a substitute gives these youngsters the sense that there’s forward progress in their career. Every time some hopeless squad player we can’t shift from the books gets on the pitch instead of them, it’s further evidence that they don’t have a clear future at the club.

This is something that needs to be a focus from the very top of the club down – managers need to know that playing academy players is very much part of their job and part of the team’s big picture strategy.

Tags Sam Rak-Sakyi

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  1. 16 academy graduates played in the first team last season with about 5 of them making their debut. So what is this bollocks about blocked pathways? Just compare the top 6 clubs & see how many homegrown players each of them have used over the last 5 seasons & you will see that Chelsea have used THE MOST.

  2. The Cobham boys’ve been getting the minutes of late, especially in this last season. The problem here is this new philosophy of buying youngsters. Everyone in their position will definitely see a red flag there.

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