Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Chelsea signings ‘too comfortable’ on nine-year deals which could ‘massively backfire’

Chelsea’s strategy of handing new signings unusually long contracts could backfire.

That’s according to former England and Manchester City defender Danny Mills, who feels young players will be feeling ‘too comfortable’ under such conditions.

Chelsea have made a number of huge signingsGetty

But the methods to get them through the door are under the microscopeGetty

Chelsea have spent close to £1billion in the last 18 months since Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital took control of the club.

Twice this year the Blues have broken the British record transfer fee, first for £106.8million Enzo Fernandez from Benfica, and then £115m Moises Caicedo from Brighton.

Argentine Fernandez was initially signed to an eight-year contract, which was later extended to nine, while Caicedo’s deal is also just short of a decade in length.

A number of other recent signings have joined for a similar length of time as part of a strategy to stretch the blow of their transfer fees and ease Financial Fair Play worries.

That decision may prove prudent for Chelsea upgrading their squad in the short-term, but in Mills’ professional opinion, players – particularly young ones – shouldn’t be allowed to get too comfortable.

The talkSPORT host questioned: “Where’s the hunger and desire for some of those players when you’re giving them eight or nine year contracts?

“We always talk about youngsters having too much too soon, Chelsea have bought some young players, and if you’re giving them a nine-year contract, all they’ve got to do is say ‘No I’m going to put my feet up just a little bit, I’ll come off it ten per cent’ and suddenly you’ve no longer got the player you thought you had.

“Subconsciously, when you go out on the pitch you want to win, but are you prepared to put in the hard hours of training?

Mills has questioned Chelsea’s decision makingGetty

“90 minutes is a snippet, that’s the pinnacle and the icing on the cake, but all the hard work gets done in training, day-in and day-out, that’s the hard work that no one sees, that you don’t get pats on the back for.

“You look at players like [Cristiano] Ronaldo, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic], their routines off the pitch, are all these players going to be of that character? I’m not sure they are. I think it’s a very dangerous game, putting players who haven’t achieved a lot on nine-year deals.”

Explaining the mentality further, Mills added: “If suddenly everything is secure, you can’t help but go, ‘I don’t quite need to push as much as I was’ because you’ve become comfortable.

“We’ve seen it time and time again when young players have had too much too soon. I think it could backfire massively in two or three seasons time at Chelsea.”

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