Chelsea are coming off a harrowing defeat to arch-rivals Arsenal, and their defence looks as shaky as it’s ever been. Italian manager Antonio Conte could well turn to the academy to help bolster his options at the back.
One of the biggest problems at the back for Chelsea has been the aging right-back Branislav Ivanovic. However, the Blues may have a ready-made solution on their hands in 23-year-old Todd Kane, who joined the club at the age of eight.
Kane was offered a new three-year contract earlier this week, after an impressive loan spell at Eriedivisie club NEC Nijmegen. The right-back was slated to be eased into the first team, but an ACL tear he suffered in April ruled him out for six months.
However, Kane is now well on the road to recovery, and could provide a solution to Conte’s defensive headaches.
“I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” Kane told the Daily Mail.
“I’ve made good progress. It is five months now since my operation. I am trying to get stronger in my legs. The club have been great.
“With the season I had I was due to come back to Chelsea for pre-season and show what I can do. But I believe everything happens for a reason.
“Chelsea watched every game. I was in contact with Eddie Newton and Paolo Ferraira (who oversee loans), and they would often come over. They were very pleased.”
Kane may not be an instant starter, but the young right-back has the potential to grow into a key player for the Blues. Ivanovic has long been a convenient scapegoat for fans, but the fact is the Serbian isn’t getting any younger.
Chelsea have a poor policy when it comes to young players and has suffered in the past. The likes of Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne were sold to other clubs. They went on to become genuine top class players who could’ve walked into the current Chelsea team.
The Blues currently have some great young players on the books including Kane, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and the on-loan Andreas Christensen. Many would urge the club to focus on helping these players develop, rather than looking at the transfer market for answers.