Chelsea are reportedly looking at the possibility of signing highly-rated Reading whizkid Oliver Pendlebury as the Blues look to bolster their quota of English players.
According to The Sun, Chelsea have set their sights on another prodigious youngster, with the club taking a keen interest in Reading FC whizkid Oliver Pendlebury. The Blues have been recruiting promising youngsters from all over the world. But, they are now looking to strengthen the core of English players in their setup – first-team and in the younger ranks as well.
Oliver Pendlebury is a 15-year-old English midfielder who is the captain for the Three Lions and also a regular member of their Under-16 squad. The player is very highly-rated by the Royals, who came close to securing promotion back to top-flight football, only to lose in the playoffs.
— Talk Reading (@TalkReading) August 6, 2017
And if reports are to believed, the Royals could be set to lose their most promising young talent. Chelsea have been looking to bolster the core of English players in the youth setup, with most of their recruiting coming from outside England – the Blues recently signed Billy Gilmour from Rangers.
Chelsea’s youth squads are one of the most successful squads in not just England but all of Europe, with the Blues consistently fighting for top honours at the youth level. However, the club has become notorious for not providing their academy stars a prominent role in the first-team setup.
The likes of Nathan Ake and Nathaniel Chalobah became the latest victim of the infamous policy as the duo were sold off to the likes of Bournemouth and Watford respectively. In spite of all this, the Blues are confident of getting the deal done for Pendlebury.
It is reported that the Championship club could also be powerless to resist Chelsea in their pursuit of the 15-year-old midfielder. Chelsea have already brought much ire of the fans towards them by selling popular figure Nathaniel Chalobah – England’s most-capped youth player.
Add to that the growing concerns over a lack of Home Grown players in the first-team setup and the Blues are right to be looking to add more English players to squad, be it the first-team or the academy squads.
It will now be interesting to see if Pendlebury is willing to ignore the club’s notorious history of providing a platform into the first-team and opt to join what is one of the biggest clubs in world football.