We’re at the start of a new era at Chelsea, and that change isn’t just happening at the board room level. There’s renewed emphasis and focus from the new owners on investing in younger players and the next generation. And that makes the futures of players like Jorginho and N’Golo Kanté far from assured at the club, especially as they now have just eight months left on their contracts — and will be able to talk with other clubs starting in January.
One of those clubs, unsurprisingly, will be Barcelona, as per a report from the London Evening Standard. Barca already picked up Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso from Chelsea this season, for free or essentially free, and were close to doing so with César Azpilicueta as well before he ended up staying and signing a new contract. Real Madrid, who got Antonio Rüdiger for free from us in the summer, could be right behind them.
Both Jorginho and Kanté (when fit) have remained first-team regulars under multiple head coaches, and have become practically synonymous with Chelsea,, but they are both over 30 at this point and perhaps it is indeed time for a changing of the midfield guard — especially with Kanté’s injuries making for an increasingly frustrating situation. Kanté has reportedly already rejected an extension, while Jorginho’s agent is starting to pop up in various parts of the world as if he were Carmen Sandiego.
While losing players for free is never an ideal outcome, especially this many in this short of a time frame, perhaps we can avoid similar situations in the future by appointing a proper sporting director and making better plans for the short- and the long-term.