Mauricio Pochettino tells Chelsea fans fans to remain patient with young signings
Mauricio Pochettino has given Zinedine Zidane’s example to Chelsea’s young players when the Frenchman arrived at Real Madrid and took time to establish himself.
Chelsea have undergone a squad haul with many senior players sold, and the board mainly prioritise the signing of young players as they hope to build their project around them.
However, many of them have yet to make their mark, while a few of them have been sent on loan for more development. The Blues currently have the youngest squad averaging 23 years of age.
There have been plenty of questions being asked from Pochettino regarding their young squad, and as usual, the Argentine manager has been called for patience.
This time the former Southampton manager has used Zidane, who is regarded as one of the best midfielders to ever play the game, as an example to highlight the issue of young players at Chelsea, (h/t Express) as he said:
“When you arrive at Chelsea as a player or coaching staff, what do people expect? To win and win trophies, to perform, and to score. But now we have a squad that is young and some players who are, of course, a big investment for the club. We need to know they are young, they need to adapt, and the circumstances from which they came”
“I always use the same example: Real Madrid paid around £70 million for one player, whose name was Zinedine Zidane, an amazing player. After six months, you could ask the fans, ‘What have we bought?’ And he started to perform after seven or eight months. Zidane was 26 and 27 years old, and when you bring a player of 18, 19, 20, 21, be careful; they are not machines.”
There is a significant difference between young players who, because of their innate talent, rapidly adjust to a new league and those who take time, perhaps over several seasons, to get acquainted with the league.
Enzo Fernandez has inherent talent and has adapted quickly to this environment, in contrast to players like Mykhaylo Mudryk and Noni Madueke, who may require more games to determine their capabilities.
Young players shouldn’t be put under pressure because they frequently feel strain and lose conviction. In order for a player to function at his peak, he needs good guidance and assurance, which Pochettino will undoubtedly provide.
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However, at the moment, he has too many young players, so it goes without saying that it may take him more than a few seasons to identify their potential. Zidane is a truly big name to drop, but one can understand why Poch is using that example because fans need reassurance right now that the team is headed in the right direction.
The 0-0 draw against Bournemouth was a setback today. Mudryk was arguably a flop for the 63 minutes that he played, but the rest of the team did themselves no favors too.