We're well into the first week of preseason training, and so we're getting lots of fun quotes coming out of Cobham. In today's bulletin from the official site, however, we're getting more than just platitudes:
[Romelu Lukaku, Kevin de Bruyne and Tomas Kalas] are good players with a very good value in the market and we have these players this season for free, after an investment that the club did before.
After the development of the players on loan it is the right moment for them to be back. They are very young with space to develop, they will be better year after year and I can imagine in five years they are much better than today - but what they have today is more than enough to belong to this squad.
One of those names is new, at least officially. Although we've known for a while that Tomas Kalas wasn't going back on loan to Vitesse, this is the first time we're getting a senior Chelsea source claiming that he'll remain with the club next season. Kalas is one of my favourite prospects (I'm a sucker for fullbacks), so this is almost as exciting for me as the fact that we're getting to see Lukaku and de Bruyne contribute next season. It also means that we're probably not going to be going in for a centre back this summer -- Kalas is perfectly adequate depth there.
As ever, let's sign out by mocking the 'Jose Mourinho hates the youth' meme:
We have a team to develop, we have a team to work. Of course we know there are expectations already and we want to create expectations for ourselves, we don't need other people to create them - but the reality is the best period of this team has yet to arrive because they are very young and in five, six, seven years' time is when this team will be in the best moment of their careers.