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Comment: Southampton's Attempts to Sign Chelsea's Academy Stars Should Serve As Warning to Blues

Ralph Hasenhuttl sent Chelsea and Manchester City a warning over their Academy stars as he offered them a pathway to develop at Southampton. 

Chelsea already know the threat of the Saints as they claimed two of their youngsters last summer. Both Tino Livramento and Dynel Simeu left Stamford Bridge to the south coast permanently, while Armando Broja joined them on a season-long loan deal for the 2021/22 season. 

"Young players that can't make it at Chelsea or Man City are welcome here," said Hasenhuttl earlier this month. "We will give them the platform and want to create new stars."

Chelsea have a buy-back on Livramento after the £5 million sale, while Broja will return to Cobham at the end of the season, as it stands. 

Both Livramento and Broja have performed and proved themselves in the top-flight, rewarding their decisions to make the permanent or temporary exits from the European champions.

However, Southampton's raid of Chelsea's Academy isn't finished. Hasenhuttl's words weren't an empty warning, they have, and are acting on them. 

They have begun talks with Chelsea already over extending Broja's time at St. Mary's, whether that is to agree another loan, or to keep him at the club on a permanent basis. 

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But Southampton have gone further than just in-house this month ahead of Monday's deadline. Tino Anjorin was subjected to interest from Hasenhuttl as they eyed a permanent swoop in January.

It appears unlikely they will get a deal over the line in the next couple of days with Chelsea preferring a loan switch for the remainder of the season. He is likely to make a move to the Championship. 

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The key to Anjorin is that Southampton are willing to bide their time and remain patient until the summer to land him permanently if they have to. A sign of their intent and admiration for the 20-year-old. 

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This leaves the Saints with two deals in the pipeline in the summer - Broja and Anjorin. That could be four names they have signed permanently from Chelsea in the space of just 12 months.

With the calibre of youngsters coming through Chelsea's ranks, they will be targeted and convinced, with backed proof, that Southampton is a club who can offer these young talents opportunities to play in the Premier League during the early stages of their careers. That's the dream for any player, right?

Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea will need to come up with a plan of action to avoid any future problems they could have, that starts with long-term contracts for the players. 

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From there, the Blues will need to set out a development plan for each individual of their pathway to ensure they are fully aware of what, and how long it will take for them to be ready for a chance in Tuchel's first-team.

Without a clear vision, these youngsters are more likely to look away from Cobham because they know there will be greater opportunities for them to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Livramento, Broja, Lamptey and others in making it at the top-level.

Hasenhuttl has put Chelsea in an uncomfortable position. Chelsea aren't safe with their youngsters' futures, but they are in control of the situation. Should they act now to ensure there is a plan, they won't continue to be raided. 


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