I think most of us were a bit shocked yesterday morning when we learned that Connor Hunte had been released, as there was barely any mention of any sort of troubles leading up to the player's departure. Never fear though, as Neil Ashton put his mole on the Hunte for information, and 24 hours later we learned the following:
Standards at their Cobham training centre have been ordered to improve already following the dramatic release of midfielder Connor Hunte. The England Under-17 star had been earmarked as a future first team potential, but he has been allowed to leave because of serious concerns about his attitude and discipline.
If this report is correct, it's the second time in the past few seasons in which Chelsea have released a promising youngster due to poor behavior off the pitch. Early in 2012 they cut ties with Jacob Mellis for setting off a smoke grenade inside the training facilities, while fining Billy Clifford for his involvement in the incident.
Without knowing Hunte or having had any sort of interaction with him, I have a hard time passing judgement on his attitude or professionalism. I also haven't heard of any sort of Mellis-like incident involving the young English winger, so I have very little to go on here.
That said, the club certainly knows the player well, and if the coaching staff feels strongly enough to release a player they just went out of their way to retain, I'd have a hard time doubting that there wasn't enough of an issue there to take issue with their decision. The beauty of being a club the size of Chelsea is that we can always can more young talent, as Hunte's spot in the youth ranks already appears to have been adequately filled by West Brom's Isaiah Brown.