One of the dangers inherent to loaning out players, even expressly just for development, is that they develop attachments alongside skills and experience, which then prove hard to break. Of course, everyone acknowledges that football is business at the end of the day, and that such attachments may not carry tangible value, but we also do get frequent reminders that it’s often a bit more than just that, and that decisions are sometimes made from the heart rather than the head.
Young Levi Colwill may be facing one such conundrum at the minute.
“Brighton have done a lot for me. They put their trust in me when others didn’t and I’m a person that loves to repay that. We’ll see.
“I don’t know what is going to happen (at Chelsea). I’m still here until the end of the season. I just focus on that, then I’ve got the Euros [...] after that, we’ll see what happens and go from there.”
The 20-year-old has become highly rated around the league, including back at Chelsea (where he does still have two years left on his contract), but it were Brighton who were actually willing to take a chance on him. And while it took him a few months to find his feet out on the coast, making just one Premier Leagues start before the World Cup break, he’s become indispensable in the second-half of the season as they clinched their first ever European spot in club history.
So even as Chelsea have reportedly earmarked him for a place in the first-team next season, those promises may not hold much sway over the reality of the Brighton experience.
“It’s been amazing — every part, on the pitch, off the pitch. I’ve learnt so many things. I’ve grown, not just only as a player, but as a man too, and I think it’s due to the manager and the players. I’ve just loved every minute of it.
“I’m not someone to predict the future. I take it day by day, but it’s been an amazing journey.”
“The changing room is the biggest part. These players are amazing. They are there for you, to put an arm around you, to give you advice, to tell you off. It’s just a perfect balance and I appreciate it so much. As a young player, for all of us, for everyone in the changing room, this is what’s going to take us to the next level. [...] I appreciate that so much. I’d never take that away from anyone. When they care, every day, it’s only going to improve you. I just love it.”
-Levi Colwill; source: The Athletic
Looks like we’ve got some convincing to do.