Omari Hutchinson recently departed Arsenal for Chelsea.
The youngster was on the verge of a breakthrough season under the tutelage of Per Mertesacker and Mikel Arteta, but the lure of the lucre proved too hard to turn down for the 18 year old.
Hutchinson spent seven years at Arsenal and last year saw the exciting forward make himself known, with 15 goals and assists in just 22 appearances for the U23’s.
His trajectory was on a meteoric rise. The next step would either have been a loan move or sporadic appearances for the first team, such is the blueprint that other starlets have followed.
But instead, Hutchinson has joined Chelsea – his boyhood club.
And if this move had transpired to any other club, it would be conceivable that the winger / attacking midfielder would be on the move to get as much first team appearances as possible.
But a move to Chelsea for a youngster is almost a death sentence for a players career. There have been exceptions – Mason Mount is a prime example. But the sheer amount of youngsters the Blues have out on loan speaks volumes.
A total of 23 Chelsea players were farmed out on loan last season. That is more than two entire elevens plying their trade for other clubs. And of those 23 players, how many have a chance of coming back into the fold this summer and making an impact?
Let’s look at the players who were on loan:
Ethan Ampadu – Venezia
Faustino Anjorin – Huddersfield Town
Abdul Baba Rahman – Reading
Tiemoue Bakayoko – Milan
Michy Batshuayi – Besiktas
Nathan Baxter – Hull
Mason Burstow – Charlton
Armando Broja – Southampton
Jake Clarke-Salter – Coventry
Levi Colwill – Huddersfield
Jamie Cumming – MK Dons
Danny Drinkwater – Reading
Juan Familia-Castillo – Charlton
Bryan Fiabema – Rosenborg
Conor Gallagher – Crystal Palace
Billy Gilmour – Norwich
Henry Lawrence – AFC Wimbledon
Ian Maatsen – Coventry
Matt Miazga – Alaves
Emerson Palmeiri – Lyon
Dujon Sterling – Blackpool
Ethan Wady – Hendon FC
Karlo Ziger – Rudar Velenje
Of that group, perhaps Broja, Gallagher and Ampadu have the best chance of breaking through. But if we look at the competition ahead of them to gain a place, then even if they are welcomed back into the matchday squad, what chance of any frequency of minutes?
And Omari Hutchinson, who has yet to make his first team bow, would be well down the pecking order for minutes.
So a loan move beckons. Something that would have happened at Arsenal this season.
It begs the question – why the move?
Hutchinson took to social media to say farewell to Gooners;
Dear fans, it’s time to say goodbye,” his message read on social media.
“My experience with Arsenal has been a fantastic and memorable one.
“I will always remember my time here and the beautiful journey it has taken me on. This will be one to remember and never to forget. Arsenal made me feel most welcomed and respected, so huge thank you to all the staff and coaches, and my teammates it’s been a real pleasure.
“Lastly, a colossal thank you to all the arsenal fans who have supported and shown me love, words can not describe how I value, respect and love you all!!!”
If Hutchinson decided to move to another club, what of the other players on the verge of making a breakthrough at Arsenal? Marcelo Flores, Charlie Patino, Brooke Norton-Cuffy, Salah-Eddine Oulad M’Hand, Miguel Azeez, Omar Rekik, Nikolaj Moller and Mika Biereth?
Flores has recently penned a loan deal to play for Real Oviedo this coming season, as has Omar Rekik to play for Sparta Rotterdam, Biereth for RKC Waalwijk and Moller for Den Bosch.
The stronger our squad becomes, the tougher the path to the first team. Do Arsenal need to give assurances to these players in order to keep them at the club?
Is Hutchinson a sign of things to come for our talented kids? Or was Hutchinson leaving a move for money?
Have your say below.