Home > Football > Are Chelsea right to sign 11 year old Gyasi ?

Are Chelsea right to sign 11 year old Gyasi ?

Chelsea have announced that they have signed an 11-year-old from Northampton Town.

This raises many potential issues in the game today and discussion points along with it.

It would seem that each party is happy with the deal. Historically, we get the smaller club publicly state that the bigger club is attempting to poach the player away illegally. Court cases are mentioned and there is often a war of words between the two clubs. In this case this has not occurred.

I would suggest that the reasons for this are because Northampton have been well compensated for the loss of this player and the parents / guardians have been well compensated too.

But the burning question for me is:

Why are Chelsea buying talent as young as 11?

I don’t want to spoil the party here but there is very little chance that Michael Gyasi would have made the grade at Northampton Town, let alone Chelsea. These are not negative comments but those based on facts. The amount of players that earn a professional contract following a scholarship is very small. And scholars have already come through the schoolboy levels to the age of 16.

I was part of the FA Youth Cup winning team for Leeds Utd in 1993. at that time I recall the current Leeds Utd manager question how many of that team would enjoy a professional career. I thought he was adding gloom and doom to our hopes and dreams but he had seen it all before. 17 years on and the facts are there for all to be seen. Out of that team only Noel Whelan can claim to have had a Premiership career. Myself, Kevin Sharp and Mark Tinkler managed to play into our 30’s but at the lowest professional level.

This is synonymous with youth teams at all clubs over many years.

So far I have not spoken to much of the young player in question, or his ability. That is because, at this stage, it is insignificant. I guess that his ability is way above the average for his age group. I assume that he is better than the same 11 year olds that are already at Chelsea. If not, they would not have signed him.

 But so much has to happen in this boy’s favour over the next 6 or 7 years even for him to be in with the smallest of chances. Pressure will be on his shoulders. Does an 11-year-old need to be having football pressures so early in his development ? Shouldn’t he be enjoying playing football with his friends ? Arent Chelsea just hedging their bets by recruiting anybody of any age who stands out ? They do not need to recruit these players. And when push comes to shove and it is between playing a rookie or signing an experienced international for the big Champions League matches then we know the outcome. It takes an extremely talented player to overcome these type of obstacles at the very highest level. 

I was a very talented junior player. Although most of my professional career was in the lower leagues I was about as good as it got from the ages of 11 to 15. I was courted by all of the big guns in England. I went to train with Arsenal, Manchester Utd, Everton. I even had Sir Alex Ferguson round my house in Blackpool as a 14-year-old asking for my signature. I was invited to all of these clubs, and more, each time there was a school holiday. The tough decision was which one would I choose. 

So although I beat the statistics and had a professional career, most don’t. 

 But there is an argument to suggest he is now in the right place to develop as a youngster. The facilities at a club like Chelsea are superior to that of Northampton Town. You could argue that the coaching will be of a higher standard and he will be playing with better players each time he puts on a pair of boots.

After our recent World Cup failure Chelsea, and other clubs who act similarly, may well hold the key in developing our young talent by recruiting in this fashion.

Only time will tell.

Categories: Football
  1. October 14, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Or you could look at it from the angle that chelsea have enough money to “take a punt” on anyone showing any promise at an early age and hoping they become another pre world cup wayne rooney – leeds have had players “bought” from under their noses (however in the silly years of spending I am sure leeds picked up some of their own from other smaller clubs) – I suppose if Northampton are suitably recompensed for the boy then everyone comes out of this happy. I agree about the better facilities / better chances of making it rather than sit at northampton – but I am sure northampton fans will disagree

  2. Charles Commins
    October 18, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    As a Northampton fan, I say good luck to the lad. As Jamie says, if he makes it it will be a minor miracle.

    One thing I will say is that we have got a very good reputation at the moment for blooding youngsters. If you’re a Leeds fan football trophies I point you to Bradley Johnson. Granted, BJ was never with us when he was 11!

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