There were a pair of articles that I saw today on young players that Chelsea has added to their academy or will be adding this summer, and I thought I'd share them this morning and give us a place to discuss. Kasey Palmer is already training and playing with the club, and Cristian Cuevas will be joining in the summer when the transfer window opens.
The Daily Mail picked up on the Kasey Palmer move yesterday, and has updated their story today with a potential figure for the deal. They are claiming that the Palmer move will be netting Charlton at least £200k, with the potential for the move to make the club as much as £800k.
I'm pretty skeptical about the accuracy of these figures, as they don't really match up very well with the numbers outlined when the EPPP was passed. That said, the paper had a short scouting report on Palmer that was interesting to read, and generally lines up with everything I've heard about the youngster.
Two footed, lovely balance and with the ability to glide past opponents, Kasey Palmer is a bright English talent. Playing in an advanced midfield position for Charlton U18’s this season, he has been among the stars of a talented Academy group, also including Gus Poyet’s son, Diego.
When scouts flocked to The Valley to watch Poyet Jr in the FA Youth Cup tie against Chelsea this season, it was Palmer who caught their eye instead. Charlton lost 3-2 after extra time with goals from Tom Derry and Oliver Muldoon, but Palmer shone.
Whether he would have been best advised to stay at Charlton where the route into the first team is an easier path (18-year-old Callum Harriot recently became the latest to make the first team at The Valley) is another debate. Working under Paul Hart and Steve Avory at Charlton, 16-year-old Palmer has improved as a player and recently scored a spectacular long-range goal at Millwall in a 2-1 win for the Charlton U18 team.
I think the first paragraph is probably the most interesting, as it's the only part that tells us much about what Palmer can potentially bring on the pitch. It's pretty rare to see a player of his age that has settled into a definite role that he'll be playing when he reaches his prime, but the fact that Palmer is comfortable on the ball with either foot is good to know. That's always been one of the strongest attributes of Lewis Baker's game, and seeing truly two-footed players is something that's becoming increasingly rare in the sport.
Palmer wasn't the only Chelsea youth signing who we're going to mention today, as Cristian Cuevas did an interview with Marca. Since the interview was done in Spanish, I'll post a few of the Chelsea-related questions and answers here in English. Be warned, the translations may not be perfect:
How did the interest of Chelsea come about?
They come following me like for a year and a half, or two years. They came to see me at championship La Serena, where I played well and made two goals . After that tournament I got tickets for a trial, and for the club to meet me. I went to London, I spent a week, then returned to South American, and that they said they were interested and made the purchase.
You go directly to a big European football, with 17. Are you prepared?
Recently there have been South American players are very young, without passing through a small team. I've always been very clear, since I started here as a boy. I wanted to play as little as possible here in Chile and go outside to play quickly, to Europe. And have been given the opportunity by Chelsea. There were more teams, but I always wanted to make the decision and go to this team. These are challenges that I want to take.
This summer you go to London. Will you stay in the first team, or you will you go on loan if the occasion arises?
They spoke from the beginning. I have to come, making the preseason and then see what they do with me, whether I stay or sent on loan to a smaller team. But yes, I'm willing to go on loan. What I want most is to play and adapt as quickly to add minutes and did not cost me much if I go back to Chelsea.
What Chelsea player do you prefer?
There is more to the Cuevas interview, with some vanilla comments about Chelsea's next manager and an explanation of how he got his nickname. You can let google translate those for you though, as I don't see the need to cut and paste the entire interview.