In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Mario Melchiot feels Chelsea are developing a model similar to the one which has brought success to Ajax, Lucas Piazon is being linked with a move to Portuguese side Rio Ave and ex-Blues keeper Asmir Begovic is looking for a move after falling down the pecking order at Bournemouth.
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Melchiot compares Blues to Ajax model
In an interview with Goal.com, former Blues full-back Mario Melchiot has spoken of how Chelsea are developing a mentality similar to Dutch giants Ajax by relying on young stars like Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham
Melchiot began his career at Ajax before moving in 1999 to Chelsea, where he played 165 games in a team which included our current head coach Frank Lampard and assistant coach Jody Morris.
The ex-Netherlands international defender is delighted to see the progression of his former team-mates to the club’s coaching ranks and the trust they have placed in our successful youth system.
‘Chelsea are bringing in the former players to coach, who will help the push for youth that they want to bring through,’ he said.
‘If I was a young player at Chelsea, then I would be so excited. You have a coach who will give you an opportunity because his own opportunity was at a young age.
‘In his mind, it makes sense to do that. He also can’t bring in new players for at least a year so he has to use what he has around him. This is your chance. I have been a long advocate that Chelsea should use their youth players because they win so much at youth level.’
While Melchiot feels the Blues will not be strong contenders for the Premier League title this season, he believes the new model will help the club to develop in a similar fashion to Ajax, who reached the Champions League semi-finals last season.
‘Now, I am also going to be honest with the young guys, if you don’t take the chance, then you can’t make excuses if you don’t make it. This is your year. The ones in the first team or just below have a big chance,’ added the Dutchman.
‘We do it at Ajax so that’s our model. Chelsea are more like Ajax this season. They can’t make big signings but the smart thing to do is promote the young boys.
‘If they qualify again for Europe, it is a big success. Even the Europa League. They can build on a European finish. They will build on the young players, then sign more alongside a group of successful homegrown talent.
‘Bringing through homegrown talent is a success in itself. You see Chelsea’s youngsters won a lot of trophies but the real trophy is now that they are being used.’
Piazon linked with Portuguese move
The Sport Witness website reports Brazilian winger Lucas Piazon could be on the verge of a move to Portuguese side Rio Ave.
Citing an article by Portuguese sports paper Record, the website states the Primeira Liga side have shown genuine interest in signing the 25-year-old but a deal is far from done.
‘The Portuguese side are said to be ‘considering’ the arrival of Piazon. They are gathering information and waiting to see how the situation develops,’ states the report.
‘Something seen as crucial for the move to happen is that Piazon accepts a pay cut in case of a move, since Rio Ave are in no condition to afford the salary he earns at Chelsea.
‘Record also points out that the player’s deal with the Blues expires next summer, so that’s something that will need to be sorted before he goes out on loan.’
Begovic looking for a new club
According to the Daily Mail, Asmir Begovic is looking to leave Bournemouth after becoming the club’s third-choice keeper this season.
A Premier League winner with the Blues in 2016/17, Begovic joined the Cherries the following season and played in all 38 of their games in his first campaign there,
However, he became second choice behind Artur Boruc in the second half of last season before falling further down the pecking order as manager Eddie Howe opted to start youngster Aaron Ramsdale in Bournemouth’s three games of this season.
‘[Eddie Howe] made a decision as the manager,' said the 32-year-old in an interview with The Athletic.* 'Of course I didn't like it. Any time you don't play, you don't like sitting on the bench.
'We had a discussion, we had a conversation about it, and we moved on from there. And obviously now, the manager feels like going in a different direction is the best thing for the club, for the team.
‘My current situation is not ideal. I'm not involved in the first team. I'm not in the plans at the moment. I'm not playing games and I have always played games throughout my whole career so of course, I'm trying to find a solution but there are many different sides to it.
'First, you have to find the right option and the right option has to fit financially for the club. I'm still under contract for another three years, so it's such a tricky situation to find a solution for everyone, so that's why I haven't gone anywhere.
'I'm trying to find the right solution for everybody and hopefully in the next (few) days, until the end of the transfer window, we will find a solution for me to go and play games. I feel physically as fit as ever.'
*Subscription required to read the full interview.