Chelsea: Spending is only way to win
Arnesen oversaw £60m youth programme but says investing in youngsters is for clubs who 'don't want trophies'
Chelsea's sporting director Frank Arnesen last night declared that spending money was the only way to win trophies and suggested, comparing his club with Arsenal, that investing in youth alone was a strategy for clubs who "don't want to win trophies but want to be involved in the Champions League".
Arnesen, who will leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, has presided over Roman Abramovich's £60m plan to build Chelsea through youth development but the club's vast January outlay on Fernando Torres and David Luiz suggests the Russian has reverted to spending his way to success. Arnesen told BBC Radio 5 Live his pledge to Abramovich had been to deliver one genuine first team player by 2010, but said the overriding Abramovich philosophy was winning, which meant spending.
"The most important people are the people at the top of the club, who own it," Arnesen said. "They have the philosophy. Arsenal have their philosophy and we have ours and we stick to it. [Abramovich] believes in [youth]. But he demands that you will win so you have to sign players from outside. If you want to be top you need to hire the best players from outside. If you go with the youth you will probably not win a lot of trophies. If [you] don't want to win trophies and want to be involved in the Champions League, then OK, you go with youth."
Reports last night suggested that Abramovich is lining up Guus Hiddink to move from the Turkey national side and take over Arnesen's position. Though Arnesen has been behind the establishment of an academy which saw Chelsea win the FA Youth Cup for the first time in 49 years last season, question marks remain about the number of players who have the ability to play regularly for Carlo Ancelotti. The club captain John Terry remains the last player to emerge fully from the youth ranks.
Arnesen last night listed the five who were in Chelsea's 25-man squad for this season: Josh McEachran, Gaël Kakuta, Patrick van Aanholt, Jeffrey Bruma and Daniel Sturridge. But only McEachran is currently at Stamford Bridge. Kakuta – whose acrimonious move from Lens cost Chelsea a £100,000 fine and a transfer window embargo – is on loan at Fulham and Van Aanholt at Leicester. Serbian centre-half Slobodan Rajkovic (a £3.8m purchase as a 16-year-old) is on loan at Vitesse Arnhem while Sturridge (who is on £60,000 a week at the age of 20) is at Bolton Wanderers.
Other expensive academy recruits have also moved on. Franco di Santo, who cost £3m, went to Wigan for £1m, Miroslav Stoch went to Fenerbahce while Nemanja Matic is off to Benfica this summer as part of the deal that took £23m David Luiz to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have certainly developed far fewer established Premier League players than Arsenal and spent immeasurably more.
Wenger last week accused Chelsea, who spent £75m on Torres and David Luiz on the day they announced £70m losses, of backtracking on the their pledge to conform with Uefa Financial Fair Play regulations which means clubs must move towards break-even by 2013. Manchester United continue to believe that investment in youth is the way ahead, though they will spend this summer.
Manchester City's refusal to put targets on the number of academy recruits to make the first team also reflects the size of the challenge. Arnesen, who moved to Stamford Bridge from Tottenham in 2005, insisted that he had told Abramovich that he would deliver one proven Premier League player by 2010. "When we sat down with Roman I said what do you want from me?" Arnesen said. "I [said] I would see that by 2010 if we can get a player into the first team squad I would be satisfied. This season there were obviously five coming into the first team squad."
McEachran is getting closer to that. But Arnesen, who pointed out that Chelsea had six internationals when he arrived while all but six academy players are internationals now, said the 17-year-old may need a spell out on loan within six months.
Latest in Sport
UFC 190 Ronda Rousey vs Bethe Correia: What time does it start and where can I watch it, plus Mauricio Rua vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Norwich City mocked after revealing terrible new third kit - which is also yellow and green
Manchester United 2015/16 kit unveiled: Morgan Schneiderlin leads the Adidas campaign as new shirt is launched
The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life
Mario Balotelli told he has no future at Liverpool as striker trains away from first-team
- 1 Windows 10: man updates PC, wakes up to find porn slideshow on repeat
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 4 Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
- 5 Doctors declare war on Jeremy Hunt over weekend working 'myths' amid plan for seven day NHS
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality