Chelsea may have made mistake in £9m deadline day transfer as Cesare Casadei deal displays

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Chelsea may have made mistake in £9m deadline day transfer as Cesare Casadei deal displays

On transfer deadline day, as Chelsea frantically tried to sign a new midfielder, a familiar scene was playing out in the background: a player departing Stamford Bridge with unrealized potential.

After being ignored and left out by Thomas Tuchel, Billy Gilmour packed up and moved to Brighton for £9 million.

The Scotland international was formerly considered the club’s top prospect and was given his Stamford Bridge debut by Frank Lampard at the tender age of 18 in the upcoming 2019–20 season.

The central midfielder is departing after just three years for a fresh challenge, and nobody can say they blame him.

After a rocky loan stint with Norwich City, Gilmour had a tough summer before returning to Chelsea with the hopes of impressing manager Tuchel in preseason.

Instead, the Blues sent the 21-year-old back to his native country to train with the club’s Under-23 development side.

While Tuchel worked with his senior team, it was decided that Gilmour, along with players like Harvey Vale and Tino Anjorin, would benefit from playing time with the younger side.

It was only the beginning of the German’s gradual loss of confidence in a player who, only 18 months prior, was a mainstay in Chelsea’s starting lineup.

Gilmour was outstanding in an FA Cup match against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, playing with an air of confidence and leaving veterans like Jordan Henderson and Fabinho in his trail. It was at this moment in the game when Gilmour attempted and successfully completed a spectacular nutmeg on Roberto Firmino.

As summer 2022 approaches, though, Gilmour has been completely written out of Chelsea’s ambitions for the first team. 

When Tuchel submitted his final roster to the Premier League, he wasn’t even given a squad number.

That was enough to convince Gilmour it was time to leave, and Brighton’s £9 million offer was all the teenager needed to accept.

In coming to the Amex Stadium, he would be joining former Chelsea teammates Tariq Lamptey and Levi Colwill. 

Colwill, who spent last season on loan at Huddersfield, was a strong contender to make the club’s first team this year, whereas Lamptey jumped ship rather than risk being left out of the rotation.

Obviously Tuchel had a different opinion, as he spent £165 million on three new defenders and loaned off Colwill to Brighton.

There is a disappointing sense that Chelsea are reverting to old practices by bringing in big-name players and turning their back on the academy, despite the fact that Todd Boehly has excelled with his bold moves in the transfer market, backing Tuchel to the tune of £270m.

Being blind to talents like Gilmour who have been developed at the Cobham manufacturing line, a legacy of Roman Abramovich’s rule and the same center that pushed Mason Mount and Reece James into the forefront, seems shortsighted.

He was beloved by Chelsea fans, but despite their pleas, he only made 58 appearances for the club before being released.

Cesare Casadei, a 19-year-old Italian, was signed from Inter Milan to take Gilmour’s position, while Denis Zakaria joined on loan from Juventus.

The former started in his first game for the U-21s on Wednesday against Sutton United in the EFL Trophy.

But it’s worth wondering why Chelsea would spend £15 million for a guy with no senior team experience when they could get rid of a potential player with Premier League experience for less money.

The Scot will get a chance at a new beginning with Brighton, a club where players often flourish under the direction of shrewd coach Graham Potter. 

If Gilmour reaches his full potential, it will be a low-risk transfer for both Brighton and Gilmour, and Chelsea may come to regret the decision.

Chelsea may have made mistake in £9m deadline day transfer as Cesare Casadei deal displays

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