Chelsea Academy

Chelsea forced to finally use Academy after Transfer Ban

Chelsea fans have been perturbed in recent years by the sight of their club neglecting the starlets coming through their academy.

The Blues have never had any intention of nurturing the talent coming through at junior level and only use the academy conveyor belt to farm out their youngsters to clubs in England in order to market them to potential suitors.

It's a model that has brought severe criticism, not just from their fans but those looking in from the outside at Stamford Bridge. This may all be about to change, though, after the club were banned from signing players for two transfer windows and fined £400,000 for the unauthorised recruitment of minors. The Blues' faithful may not be quite thinking that the lord works in mysterious ways because the next time they will be able to sign a new player will be in the summer of 2020.

However, fans that choose to look at the bigger picture may feel that this is the ideal time for the academy graduates to prove that they should be trusted.

Chelsea do intend on appealing the decision, but it's evident that FIFA look in no mood to play softball with the West London club. It's a harsh sanction but one that will reverberate around the Premier League, especially as it was reported in November that Chelsea were among five top-level clubs facing a transfer ban for a similar offence.

Another consequence of FIFA's decision for Chelsea is that they have handed all the power to Callum Hudson-Odoi in his quest to get first-team football. The club will have to walk on eggshells around the 18-year-old and make sure he doesn't do the unthinkable and join Bayern Munich in the summer. If he were to, it would be panic stations at Stamford Bridge as their young talent begin to jump ship in a situation that some might describe as Chelsea's chickens coming home to roost.

Maurizio Sarri has his work cut out for him as he tries to steer the Blues towards fourth position and the obvious worry now would be a lack of motivation after the transfer ban comes into effect. Chelsea surrendered the last Champions League spot to the resurgent Red Devils and now Manchester United are the favourites for fourth position at evens. Wrestling back the advantage is going to be incredibly hard given that Sarri-ball is failing and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's charges are steaming ahead.

The dilemma with Sarri is actually quite an interesting one when you consider the Blues fans haven't showered him with love of late and the hierarchy at Chelsea haven't publicly backed him. With one fell swoop from FIFA, it now looks like Chelsea need Sarri more than Sarri needs Chelsea.

If the Italian does see it's worth his while to stick around then he will have to make do with a stale squad or put his trust into the academy at Chelsea. There are interesting times awaiting the Blues, who for so long, blew everyone out the water with their war chest. Now that has been taken away, the club will need to show never seen before character to ensure they don't tumble off the pace in the Premier League.

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