Monday 16


Are Chelsea following Ajax’s mould?

28th August 2019, 19:03 by James Mason

With Frank Lampard delving into Chelsea's youth ranks this season, are the Blues attempting to copy Ajax's philosophy?

With Frank Lampard delving into Chelsea's youth ranks this season, are the Blues attempting to copy Ajax's philosophy?

Ajax pride themselves on developing players through their impressive youth system and the number of players that have come through the famous Sportpark De Toekomst Academy is astonishing.

In the 1960s, a certain Johan Cruyff burst into the senior side and went on to become an absolute footballing icon. He inspired the club to three European Cups and won the Ballon d’Or three times before picking up numerous other pieces of silverware with Barcelona and Feyenoord.

Over the next half a century, Marco van Basten, Dennis Bergkamp, Frank de Boer, Frank Rijkaard, Ronald de Boer, Edgar Davids, Patrick Kluivert, Edwin van der Sar, Clarence Seedorf and many other players have all come through the ranks at Ajax.

De Godenzonen have often sold their star players on for big profits and they recently sanctioned exits for midfielder Frenkie de Jong and defender Matthijs de Ligt, who left for Barcelona and Juventus respectively for a combined 150million euros.

Ajax’s philosophy and transfer system has worked superbly and it appears Premier League outfit Chelsea may be trying to change their approach to match that of the Eredivisie champions.

The Blues brought back former midfielder Lampard as manager this summer, replacing Maurizio Sarri, and the ex-England international has been unable to spend any money due to the transfer ban imposed on the club.

With the Stamford Bridge-based side unable to bring in new arrivals until the summer of 2020, the new manager has decided to put his trust in youth this season by giving the likes of Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham opportunities, while Callum Hudson-Odoi is also due to return from injury.

So, is this a sign of things to come from Chelsea, with youth being preferred ahead of big-money acquisitions?

Since owner Roman Abramovich bought the club in June 2003, huge transfer fees have been spent to reinforce the squad while the players in the youth teams have regularly been sent out on loan after being overlooked for senior duties.

Turning to the younger players could be a step in the right direction for Chelsea and Mario Melchiot, who was at Stamford Bridge from 1999-2004, believes his former employers are transforming into Ajax.

He told Goal: “I saw Frank Lampard was watching the Under 23s. He knows he might need those players. This is their chance. 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.”

It may have been forced upon Lampard to give the younger generation a chance this season due to the transfer ban but it could end up being a blessing in disguise for the Premier League outfit

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.

More Chelsea


Abraham refusing to rule out Nigeria switch

16th September 2019, 05:00

Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has not ruled out playing for Nigeria as his international future remains unresolved for now.


Lampard gives injury updates on Chelsea stars

16th September 2019, 04:30

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says Callum Hudson-Odoi is closing in on a return to action but has not set a date for his first game back.


Does Abraham deserve England call?

15th September 2019, 16:57

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has suggested Tammy Abraham deserves an England call-up, and Gareth Southgate could oblige when he names his next squad.


Chelsea boss Lampard lavishes praise on Abraham

14th September 2019, 18:22

Frank Lampard has lauded the performance of Chelsea's hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham in Saturday's 5-2 win at Wolves.


Wolves 2-5 Chelsea

14th September 2019, 17:57

Chelsea extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to four games courtesy of a 5-2 thrashing of Wolves at Molineux.


Abraham warned he could lose Chelsea place

14th September 2019, 13:51

Frank Lampard has warned Tammy Abraham he needs to maintain his form because Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud are after his place.

Recent Sport Headlines


Saints target in no rush to leave Belgium

16th September 2019, 13:34

Southampton are understood to be tracking Anderlecht starlet Yari Verschaeren although reports of an imminent bid may be premature.


Spain hope to secure Barca starlet Fati

16th September 2019, 13:32

Spain boss Robert Moreno has confirmed the county’s footballing authorities are attempting to nationalise Barcelona's Ansu Fati.

Borussia Dortmund

BVB star hits out at Barca treatment

16th September 2019, 13:32

Borussia Dortmund star Paco Alcacer has spoken out about his time at Barcelona and says he was treated badly by some at the club.


Barca lining up swoop for Reds ace

16th September 2019, 13:02

Barcelona are reported to be showing an interest in Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and could make their move at the end of the season.

Manchester City

De Bruyne insists title race still wide open

16th September 2019, 13:02

Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has warned Liverpool not to get carried away despite leading by five points.


Injured Kent backed for flying return

16th September 2019, 12:34

Ryan Kent is set to be sidelined “for at least a few weeks” due to injury but team-mate Andy Halliday has backed him to return to top form quickly.

Tottenham Hotspur

Aurier now ‘happy’ to stay with Spurs

16th September 2019, 12:32

Serge Aurier claims his "happy to stay" at Tottenham after admitting a "personal situation" was the reason he asked to leave in the summer.


Lennon confirms Celtic’s interest in Tottenham ace Wanyama

16th September 2019, 12:04

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has revealed he wanted to sign Tottenham's Victor Wanyama in the summer.