Seven examples Gordon must not heed as Chelsea circle yet another talent to hoard

Date published: Monday 29th August 2022 9:35 - John Nicholson

Anthony Gordon

Chelsea have been linked with Everton’s Anthony Gordon in a £60m deal that has confused many. Johnny Nic is most baffled as to why he’d move.


Chelsea are thinking of paying Everton a staggering £60million for Anthony Gordon despite having at least half a dozen players in a similar position, but talent hoarding is all part of their model.

If the gangling, still coltish Gordon does go to Chelsea, like many before him, he’ll likely disappear into the blue seas and rarely be seen again, except in League Cup games and dead rubbers.

If he doubts this, there are plenty of examples to prove it.

He only needs to look at Conor Gallagher who couldn’t get a game so went on loan to Crystal Palace and was their Player of the Season. Now back at Chelsea, those blue waters are closing over his head again. After a poor game last week and getting sent off against Leicester, this really talented, exciting, dynamic player will be stuck in the reserves and on the bench, his career on pause, his England opportunities strangled at birth. Another victim of the elite club hoarding instinct. If they think he’s not good enough, just let him go instead of stockpiling him to play every now and then.

He can sit on the bench with Billy Gilmour, another player who, after a poor loan period at Norwich, doesn’t even have a Chelsea squad number, will likely get little first-team football, his talent slowly but surely suffocated as he rots in the reserves. Let him go, too.

Gordon might catch a glimpse of Ethan Ampadu, who signed for Chelsea from Exeter City in 2017 and has played just one Premier League game for the club since and most recently returned from a season-long loan at Venezia after signing another three-year contract at Stamford Bridge, presumably in the hope of playing first-team football at some point.

Despite being a Welsh international, with 36 caps under his belt, although on the bench for Saturday’s game against Leicester, it seems unlikely he will ever play for Chelsea on a regular basis and will probably be loaned out once again. If he doesn’t then welcome to the also-rans, Ethan. Just let him go, as well.

Alternatively Gordon can learn from Ross Barkley, a tremendous prospect for club and country at Everton but who has played in just 58 Premier League games in the five seasons since, frequently as a substitute.

This is his last year of a six-year contract, is now 28 and will struggle to reignite a career that has fizzled out. OK, he picked up £5million per year but had he stayed at Everton and developed into a star, he’d still have earned plenty of money.

Gordon might look at another great prospect Trevoh Chalobah, who actually played in 30 games last season, scored a few memorable goals and looked set to be a first-team regular. But now Chelsea want Wesley Fofana from Leicester, they have already said they’ll sell Trevoh and even if they don’t, he has loan offers from Inter, AC Milan and RB Leipzig.

There seems to be no future for him at Chelsea.

Or Gordon could be the next Nathan Baxter, a goalie on Chelsea’s books since 2016, who is now 23, still hasn’t played for the club and is currently on loan for a second season at Hull City. It’s not much of a gamble to say he will never play for his parent club.

Look at Brazilian Kenedy. Signed in 2015, played 14 Premier League games in his first season and two more since. Still at the club, he’s been on loan at Watford, Newcastle, Getafe, Grenada and Flamengo but was recalled in January to west London. That’s what I call being royally
pissed around.

This isn’t a situation unique to Chelsea; the richest clubs all hoard players and use them as so much stock to eventually sell on at a profit. They have little interest in them beyond that fact. If you’re not great from the get-go you’re gone. It’s how they do business, if you don’t like it, don’t sign for them.

Gordon may well want to pick up some big cash at Stamford Bridge, but he should be in no doubt that he will likely be a bit-part player, a small fish in a big pond and largely ignored by the club and by the fans.

He’ll be just a statistic to help out with their homegrown player roster, before being spat out at the other end of the contract to a chorus of, ‘Oh yeah I forgot about him’. If he gets a chance, he’ll have to be excellent immediately – £60million says so. There’s no time for growth or development for the 21-year-old.

But stay at Everton and he can play football every week in front of fans that want to see him play, who will roar him on and he will do so for what is still by any other standard in life big money. He’s on around half a million quid per year right now, which will certainly rise substantially higher. Everton need him to play football for them. Do Chelsea?

The choice between being a well-paid full-time footballer and a stupidly rich part-time player is the dilemma decent players who ply their trade at ‘lesser’ clubs face when a big club comes in for them. They might back themselves to make a big impression but history suggests the likely outcome. To not join the financial elite is not to lack ambition, it is purely realism. Deciding not to play for a club that will rarely field you would be applauded by most fans. You might end your career with £10million in the bank rather than £30million but so what? How much money do you really need anyway?

There is no metric to apply, nothing that can be pointed to, no way of measuring any improvement in quality of life or, more crucially, happiness and contentment, for earning loads more money over a lot of money, and it is a fallacy sold to us by capitalism’s greedy goblins that is there to keep us addicted to the system.

If Gordon goes to Chelsea, likely he will be just another career casualty who emerges from his contract holding a lot of money but nothing of any real worth. Don’t do it, Anthony.

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