Antonio Conte Insists Critics 'Don't Understand' as He Defends Bakayoko Arrival & Chalobah Sale
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte had defended his club's transfer policy which has come under scrutiny following the £40m purchase of Timemoue Bakayoko from Monaco, and the sale of promising youngster Nathaniel Chalobah to Watford.
During an interview with The Times, the Italian coach also addressed the Blues' often controversial youth system, as Chalobah's move to the Hornets re-energised old debates regarding the youngsters at Stamford Bridge.
The most frequent criticism of the way in which Chelsea handle their young players is that, despite being bought as one of the most promising young talents in football, they are never blooded into the regular line-up.
Instead, they are continually shipped-out on loan to various clubs, or make a permanent moves away from Chelsea, as the club continue to purchase new talent and allegedly overlook their young starlets.
The recent sale of Chalobah and the purchase of Bakayoko has embodied this issue perfectly. Conte provided a robust defence for the move though, and perhaps other instances of similar situations.
So Antonio Conte has sold or loaned: Dom Solanke, Nathaniel Chalobah, Nathan Aké, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kurt Zouma.— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) July 21, 2017
Taking care of youth.
"I think, honestly, at this moment there is a great difference between the two players,” Conte said.
"You are talking about one player who has played with Monaco, who has maybe 100 appearances for that club. He has played in the Champions League and has played regularly.
"Try to understand the difference before you judge. People who do [judge], do not understand the difference.”
Judging by the quotes, it appears Conte does not view his youth players as having the same ability as the talent available to purchase, perhaps giving an explanation as to why so many players in the Chelsea's system will never become a Blues regular - they are simply not viewed as good enough.