Chelsea transfer news: Paul Pogba and John Stones were mooted, but instead a Reading centre-back signs and has quickly gone on loan

COMMENT: Blues awful start to the season hasn't made them panic buy

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The Independent Online

Chelsea began the month hoping to sign Paul Pogba and John Stones in time for the transfer deadline, and they ended it acquiring a Reading centre-back whose list of former non-league loan clubs sounded like a run-down of David Brent’s sales territory.

Michael Hector, 23, can count Bracknell Town, Didcot Town and Havant and Waterlooville among his clubs, as well as a stint in Dundalk in the League of Ireland. In all he had a remarkable 11 loan clubs before making the grade at Reading where he has flourished into a Jamaica international whose Twitter profile picture is a shot of him tackling Lionel Messi at this summer’s Copa America in Chile.

Hector was born in East Ham but has said in the past that it was always his intention to represent Jamaica at international level. His father Pat played cricket for England at junior level and made a handful of first-class appearances for the county side Essex in the 1970s.

Hector junior only made his Reading debut in January 2014 but has become an established part of Steve Clarke’s side and the former Chelsea player and coach has proven a useful connection for the Premier League champions. With Crystal Palace also interested Chelsea have spent around £4m on Hector and loaned him back to Reading until the end of the season at the very least.

 

 

 

Hector becomes the 33rd registered Chelsea player out on loan, and the club evidently believe that should he never make the grade for them then there is a chance that he could be sold at a profit at some point in the future. They have also completed the £2.3m signing of centre-back Papy Djilobodji from Nantes is another who must grow into the job but in this case the 27-year-old Senegalese will go straight into Jose Mourinho’s first team squad.

It is a low-key end to the transfer window for Chelsea who had been prepared to break the British transfer record to land Pogba. They also bid four times for Stones, up to the value of £38m last week, but were met with a determined stance by Everton. Nevertheless, both players remain serious targets for Chelsea in the future.

They have paid more than £40m for Pedro from Barcelona and the left-back Baba Rahman of Augsburg. Apart from the signing of Radamel Falcao on loan and the £8m acquisition of goalkeeper Asmir Begovic as a new understudy to Thibaut Courtois it has been a low-key summer. The £6.7m signing Kenedy from Fluminese could yet be an interesting buy judging by his performance as a substitute against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

His homegrown status is very helpful to the club and shows just how important those players will be to elite clubs such as Chelsea who have an international scouting approach to recruitment.  The club feel that, with a shortage of English centre-backs on the market, it is a better option to buy him now and take a risk rather than see his price inflate over the space of 12 months.

There have also been new contracts for Victor Moses, sent on loan to West Ham, and Isaiah Brown, the highly-rated 18-year-old signed from West Bromwich Albion and currently on loan at Vitesse Arnhem. Nathaniel Chalobah has gone to Napoli for the season. The club are planning carefully for the future with the belief that their latest recruits at academy level and beyond will come of age in the next few years. For Mourinho, however, the slow start to the season will have to be arrested with his current crew.

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