Chelsea‘s hierarchy are reportedly disappointed that manager Antonio Conte has not integrated as many as young players into his first-team as initially expected when he agreed to the terms of the job.
The Italian tactician showed some willingness to bring back players who’d been out in the wilderness on loan last season, making Victor Moses a key player and giving more game time to the likes of Nathan Ake and Nathaniel Chalobah.
However, the latter two have since been sold this summer, while other highly-rated talents such as Tammy Abraham, Kurt Zouma and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have all gone out on loan.
Conte, meanwhile, has gone down the path of many of his predecessors in prioritising spending big money on established names, targeting many reportedly deemed too old by Chelsea’s top brass.
As well as friction over transfers, Chelsea are also said to be disappointed that Conte has not fulfilled one key area of his job description in doing more to blood youngsters and provide a pathway to the first-team for players in the club’s academy, according to The Times.
Chelsea have invested greatly in their academy in recent years, but few of their players have made the grade in a Blue shirt, despite going on to impress elsewhere.
Although not homegrown products, youngsters such as Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne were also let go early on in their careers and have since made big-money moves to Premier League rivals, becoming hugely influential for Manchester United and City, respectively.
Chelsea’s large number of player sales this summer also left them worryingly short of depth and quality on the opening day of the season in their shock 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Burnley.