Just want to weigh in with a thought I couldn't conveniently drop into an active thread: The Chelsea Football Club youth set up and loan arrangements (particularly Vitesse) exist primarily as a "footballer factory" and not to develop players for the first team. Developing players for the first team is a welcome byproduct.
I found myself getting increasingly frustrated that McEachern, then Chalobah, then Lukaku, ... couldn't get much of a sniff on the first team. They had to be loaned, etc. Some loans go well, some go poorly. We get all excited about U21 players. Either way, for the most part, only one in 100 will ever be first team material.
I know you guys figured this out before I did, but it finally occurred to me: the goal is to buy low, train better than every other club, promote the talent, sell high. It's about subsidizing the first team operation through the buying and selling of young talent, the vast majority of which will never be real Chelsea quality.
Will we ever see Kalas again? Not sure, but he certainly looked nice in the shop window at season's end. Piazon? Doubt it. Andreas Christensen? Omeruo? Bamford? Maybe not. But all of these are in excellent position to be sold for profit, thus SUBSIDIZING the purchases of the Fabregasbags and Costas of the world -- people who have already demonstrated they can run with the big dogs season after season.
Mourinho, in particular, is first and foremost about reducing risk.
Despite what he says about a different era and youth, etc ... he's about winning titles, not babysitting, cultivating, nurturing, promoting youth. I might criticize him for other reasons, but not this one. He wants to win and keep on the good side of FFP if possible. If, on occasion, a world class talent emerges from the farm, so be it. In the meantime, there are young eggs to sell.