It’s that time of year once again. The temperatures are beginning to rise, the days are getting longer and the football is becoming more and more meaningful. Summer is creeping up and that means only one thing in the sporting world: silly season is upon us. For all of those unfamiliar with the term, silly season refers to the period of time where deranged transfer rumors are published hourly by “journalists” for publications such as The S*n. It’s around this time that Chelsea fans should begin to familiarize themselves with the reliable reporters that cover their club, or else they risk becoming a victim of these click-bait headlines that contain zero substance.
Unbelievable rumors are run in one publication or another year round, but it’s around the summer when they become especially silly and prevalent. The first laughable report that pertains to the Blues in the upcoming window comes to us from the Mirror. The UK site is claiming that Real Madrid has placed Chelsea defender Reece James atop its transfer list ahead of a summer move.
Chelsea defender Reece James is now being courted by Real Madrid
This one was inevitable. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years covering football, it’s that any act of respect is picked up by a mediocre media outlet and blown out of proportion. James put on a hugely impressive performance last week at the Santiago Bernabeu, containing Vinicius Jr. for a large part of the match, despite picking up an early yellow card. His performance earned him plaudits from the Brazilian, who took to Twitter to show his respect for the Englishman. Furthermore, Ballon d’Or favorite Karim Benzema asked for James’ shirt following the full-time whistle due to the memorable performance put on by the 22-year-old. Therefore, it was only a matter of time before someone put the pieces together and ran a story about it.
The reports claim that Carlo Ancelotti was taken aback by the mature showing from the young defender. However, that’s not exactly a groundbreaking development. Anyone with eyes and half a brain praised James’ spirited performance in the Spanish capital. I don’t even think Florentino Perez—who has one of the world’s biggest egos—believes for a second that Real Madrid could pull off this transfer. James is simply too important to Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel for them to allow him to walk. This is also assuming he’d want to leave his boyhood club … unlikely.
Simply put, James is a pipe dream for Los Blancos and any other interested suitors.
The versatile, young defender is one of the many Cobham graduates that will garner interest from other continental powerhouses over the next few years. The success of Chelsea academy stars such as Tammy Abraham, Conor Gallagher, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori, James and—well, you get the point—in European top flights this season has put the world on notice. Two of the aforementioned players have already been offloaded, in addition to other talented graduates, but the real test is locking up the current young nucleus.
Players like Kai Havertz, Mount and James represent the future of the Blues. There will come a time where astronomical offers will come across the desk of whoever takes over at the club in the near future. It’s imperative that those advances are met with a swift and definite ‘no’. As long as this remains the case, Chelsea will continue to compete at the highest level in world football, resulting in the club being able to hang on to these highly touted wonderkids for years to come.
Clubs like Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have bullied other teams around Europe into selling their talented youth stars for far too long. This may continue to be the case around the continent for years to come, but Chelsea is one of the few teams that has the resources and reputation to reject these advances. The Blues must continue to do everything within their power to hang on to their academy graduates if they want any chance of sustained success.
What do you make of the latest rumors surrounding James and other young stars? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter!