When Charly Musonda Jr was dispatched to Celtic in January, there was guarded optimism that it could be a step forward in his career. It’s a burly league, the Scottish Premier League, but a notch or three below the English Premier League. As such, it was seen as a chance for him to toughen up while getting playing time.
There was a good reason for the optimism being guarded, though. The man in charge of Celtic is Brendan Rodgers. Rodgers is given to saying some crazy things.
Chelsea Football Club should already be well aware that Rodgers’ words are not to be trusted. He promised to play Josh McEachran at Swansea City. He started one game, played a total of 215 minutes and when asked what he learned from Brendan, said “Nothing”. That was the first bite.
Chelsea decided to trust our former youth and reserve coach’s promises one more time and lent him Victor Moses at Liverpool. “He’ll be a Daniel Sturridge!” Rodgers said. He started six games. That was the second bite.
And now Chelsea have been bitten for a third time by Brendan Rodgers. To be fair, it sounds like it was Musonda who fell for his spiel this time and pushed for a move to Scotland. Surprise, surprise, he seems to have changed his mind. He hasn’t started a match since February 18th and has played four minutes in Celtic’s last ten matches. Sometimes he’s not even in the squad, like in this weekend’s 5-0 thrashing of Rangers, for example.
Chelsea have had enough, according to well-connected Matt Law in The Telegraph. It was supposed to be an 18-month loan. But at this point, no-one’s inclined to believe another of Rodgers’ lines, that he’s setting up Musonda for next season. Law says the club are angry and are considering terminating the loan rather than leave Charly’s development in the hands of a man who can’t be trusted to do what he says he’ll do.
At 21 years of age, this is a critical time in Musonda’s career. He needs to be playing and learning. But with scant opportunities at Chelsea in the first half of the season and a bad loan in the second, this has become another wasted year, just like last year (wasted loan at Real Betis, followed by injuries). It’s another setback in his development. It’s hard to tell what comes next — loans are notoriously hard to predict and minutes are hard to guarantee, but the kid desperately needs actual playing time.
As for Rodgers, it’s hard to see Chelsea ever trusting him again. Of course, it was hard to see it before this disastrous loan as well. Rodgers was a youth coach at Chelsea in 2004 and was promoted to reserve team coach two years later. And yet when he was Swansea’s manager in 2012, he was asked if he saw himself replacing Andres Villas-Boas at Chelsea. His response? “I am trying to build my career and not destroy it.”
Fanciful rumors have connected Rodgers to the Chelsea job this time around too. Fat chance.