Chelsea’s two academy stars could go to Premier League rivals after shock departure

The stunning news that Chelsea would be losing both Neil Bath and his right hand man Jim Fraser from their academy came out this morning, and fans are still digesting it.

Over the span of more than 20 years, they’ve built the Chelsea academy into one of the best in the world, and their departure is unfathomably bad for that area of the club. What’s going to make it all even harder to swallow for Blues fans is the fact that they will now go on and take their talents to our rivals.

Academies are not something you can improve overnight, but the quality Bath and Fraser proved at Chelsea will be enough for anyone to commit to a long project with them.

Neil Bath and Jim Fraser in a photo montage.

Where the in demand pair could go next

The news about their departure only came out this morning, but it’s already clear there is huge demand for their services. Already one Newcastle blog is talking about the Magpies’ desire to bring them to the North East to be part of the new project there, with new sporting director Paul Mitchell now in place.

There’s a lot of interesting stuff in there – for one, it’s reported that Newcastle have had “long term interest in the pair,” and actually tried to bring them in following the arrival of the new Saudi Arabian ownership in late 2021.

That attempt failed, but the club now have a golden chance to snap them up after their surprising departure from Cobham.

Chelsea meanwhile are left scrambling to replace two cornerstones of the club. It’s been suggested that Joe Shields could be promoted internally to fill the void – although anyone will struggle to replace a pair who have been so influential for so long in one place.

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