May 8, 2011 2 Comments
We’ve all seen how Didier Drogba has transformed himself into one of the world’s greatest ever strikers within a matter of years at Chelsea. Nicolas Anelka has also flourished, collecting the golden boot in his second season after scoring 25 times in the 08/09 season. But age is not on the side of Chelsea’s two most prolific scorers in recent years,Drogba (33) and Anelka (32) will soon be of an average retiring age for a footballer. So how can Chelsea replace in confidence the players that would guarantee them goals every season?
The answer may well be lying with the three youthful strikers that they have loaned out this season. After moving to Chelsea in the summer of 2009 from Manchester City for £3.5million (fee could rise to 7million depending on conditions) ,Daniel Sturridge has thrived under Bolton manager Owen Coyle who must take the credit for turning another famous youngster into a top professional in the form on Jack Wilshere, and Carlo Ancelotti must be delighted that he has worked his magic again this year on the young Chelsea forward. After making 9 appearances for Bolton Wanderers since his loan move at the start of January, he has set the Premiership on fire scoring 7 goals and setting up many more. Sturridge has also deserved his call-up on the national scene for England u-21 being named in the 40 man squad for the championships later on this year in mid-June in Denmark.
The second of the three potential young gold-mines in Chelsea’s deck of cards is the Italian Fabio Borini. Having thrived at Chelsea in the reserves team after being made first choice striker he scored 10 goals in 11 appearances making him top scorer for the side. On 17 March 2011, Borini joined Championship side Swansea City on loan until the end of the 2010–11 season where he has linked up with his former Chelsea youth team boss Brendan Rodgers. Borini began his loan spell with the Swans by scoring a brace against Nottingham Forest and so far has 6 goals in the 8 appearences made for the club. Borini however will not be going to the European U-21 championships in Denmark after Italy failed to qualify for the competition.
The last of the three talents at Chelsea’s dispense is one Gael Kakuta, a young Frenchman who joined the club in 2007. This was not without controversy however as it was judged by the FA that Kakuta had breached the terms of his contract with old club Lens to join the current defending champions. He won Academy Player of the Year after finishing as the top scorer in the youth side finishing his first Chelsea season with 12 goals in 24 appearances and has achieved major acclaim from his team-mates including former team-mate Michael Ballack who said after a reserve game “Go see the French lad, he is the star”. In the recent transfer window he moved to Fulham to work under Mark Hughes (a legend at Chelsea) were he has made 6 appearances scoring against Sunderland for his first goal at the club.
So have Chelsea invested well for the future? Judging by the form of these youngsters they could be world-class players within a matter of years which will make Chelsea fans extremely happy to see how the future unfolds.
By Aaron McLoughlin