The year is 2029. Graham Potter’s vibrant Chelsea side are once more sweeping all ahead of them, swashbuckling in attack but with the defensive instincts that only come through years together on the training ground. Yet another Champions League is seemingly within reach for this side, who, for what feels like a generation, have grown together into a footballing force.
That, perhaps, is the end vision underpinning Chelsea’s radical new approach to the management of contracts at Stamford Bridge. In an era of dwindling patience and fast fixes, the Todd Boehly-led consortium that took control last summer are building a squad for the long term, whether they like it or not.
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Almost every new addition to the squad since the summer has signed deals way beyond the four or five years that most clubs would consider a long-term commitment. Wesley Fofana was one of the first to start the trend, signing a seven-year deal when he arrived from Leicester City. January additions Benoit Badiashile and David Datro Fofana are tied to Chelsea until 2030 (though in the latter’s case that includes a 12-month option in his contract) while Mykhailo Mudryk could stick around until 2031 without ever putting pen to paper on fresh terms.
“There is no guarantee anywhere, no magic formula that says this is going to work and this is how we see the future,” Potter told reporters earlier this month. “The players we identified are young, they’ve got quality. With Mudryk and Joao [Felix] coming on loan, there’s a certain type of player in terms of age. They are starting their careers so they are ambitious … They’re here to win and compete.”
Young players with quality are the sort who have, in the past, received…
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