I´ll keep it semi-short. And all I write is based upon what I heard in a Swedish Chelsea podcast, who in their turn was at a Q&A-session in Västerås, Sweden.
Basically a few Chelsea-fans met up with a scout working part-time for Chelsea named Peder Widlund who´s one of Chelsea´s scouts in the Scandinavian countries. Peder was recruited by a guy who was employed in scouting Scandinavia for Aston Villa some years ago. This guy was then recruited to Chelsea and brought Peder along. Here´s what Peder had to say:
- Ali Suljic will be the first Swede to play in Chelsea´s first team! (or so Peder claimed, although he is biased because he discovered Suljic and its "his" player).
He was discovered at 14 and agreed to some kind of pre-contract or gave Chelsea first refusal or something of the sorts. Chelsea wanted him and when Juventus came calling (Suljic´s favorite team at the time) and invited Suljic to a week of training in Turin, Peder managed to stop it by referring to this sort of "agreement" between Suljics agent and Chelsea. In January this year Suljic signed for Chelsea. This fall Suljic played 3 games and scored once for Sweden in the u17 WC where Sweden finished 3rd.
- John Swift is held in high regard by Peder. Also Christensen and Baker were someone who Peder spoke were highly of. Also Bamford
- Chelsea and
Man City is considered by Peder to be the clubs that really invest in the scouting network for young players. They are the ones who really tries to discover players younger than 14 that isn´t known to other clubs (Suljic was one at 14). Now he´s scouting boys born in -02
- Its easier to work for Chelsea compared to Aston Villa because Chelsea can beat out competition when theres interest from a lot of clubs which Villa couldn´t.
- Chelsea appearently wants complete teams at ages above 12 years and above, something Peder was surprised about. They have a kind of "complement player" already at this level which is there to have the same group around the more talented players who the club really believes in, in order for that gem to grow. He mentioned names but the podcast failed to reproduce them
- Chelsea have some kind of system or script that does a background on a potential player and his activities on social medias (i.e. Twitter, Facebook,
Myspace) to see how much of the posts are positive vs negative. Guess who scored the highest in the 1st team? Yes, you´re right. It´s the "holding hands in telephone-gesture"-hair who won
- 75% of all the Academy players is in their respective National Teams (at respective level of course). The fact that its only 75% is down to the amount of English players which, lets face it, can´t all be featuring in the young three lions.
- Chelsea has all but stopped scouting South America because its to expensive to scout there (I presume he meant recruit from there). Chelsea only has 3 scouts to cover that continent.
Here one of the podcasters asked Peder some questions post the Q&A, which Peder answered in the following way:
- AVB didn´t listen to advice from others around him, had zero interest in the youth teams. Didnt´t watch any of the youth teams games or training sessions. He wasn´t popular among the staff around him. Peder though AVB was more interested in his own career than in the long-term progress of Chelsea as a club
- He thought Benitez was the wrong guy for Chelsea (well duh). But that when he was there he really took an interest in the youth teams and the future of Chelsea and was positive for the Academy in general.
- Di Matteo wasn´t mentioned by Peder.
- Claimed Mou is very popular among the players in the youth setup
So there it is, a fanpost about people talking about what a part-time scout for Chelsea far far away in the beautiful north. Enjoy