In a case of confirming the obvious, Valentino Livramento has revealed that he left Chelsea this summer in search of a “better route” into first-team football — and had actually made that decision even before the season had ended.
The 18-year-old right back, the latest in a line of highly talented recent graduates at the position (Reece James, Tariq Lamptey, Dujon Sterling, etc.) and who was named Chelsea’s Academy Player of the Year last season, decided to skip the usual loan route, though he himself has been surprised by just how fast the fast-track has been at Southampton.
“There is only so much you can do at youth level. Me and my dad sat down in May and we spoke and thought the next step would be for me to push into a Premier League team and we felt the better route for me was to leave Chelsea.
“It wasn’t easy obviously as I have been a fan for as long as I can remember and been a player there since I was seven.
“I never thought that I would be playing straight away [at Southampton] but you have to take everything in your stride and you cannot hide when you get that opportunity. You have to take it. I hope I can keep doing that.”
It seems that each new generation, and certainly those emerging from the Chelsea Academy, are looking to fulfill their hopes and dreams and ambitions at an earlier and earlier age, to take full charge of the careers as soon as possible, and Livramento certainly fits that trend.
Fortunately, he also fits the growing trend of Chelsea emphasizing buyback clauses instead of just loans to help bridge the gap between the youth team and the first-team squad that’s expected to challenge for all the domestic and European titles.
“Everyone has their own different pathways and I’m not saying what I have done would work for everyone and going on loan might be the best option for some people. But it is about knowing what is best for you and I think what I have done is specific for me and you have to look at the club, look at the goals and see if it will suit you.
“At Southampton, luckily with the manager, the staff and the players, it has come together quite nicely.”
-Tino Livramento; source: England Football
Livramento is certainly off to a fantastic start in his professional career, having played every single minute of the Premier League season thus far, and earning plenty of plaudits along the way in those first three games. Hopefully he keeps going from strength to strength, so that our pathways may not only cross but perhaps rejoin each other at some point in the future.