Strasbourg chief explains Todd Boehly transfer policy and approach at Chelsea

Strasbourg chief explains Todd Boehly transfer policy and approach at Chelsea

RC Strasbourg president Marc Keller has outlined how BlueCo, the consortium of Chelsea owner Todd Boehly, has guided the club into being “more competitive” while defending his transfer policies.

Over the last year, the French outfit have reduced the average age of their squad by deciding to promote youth graduates as well as scout for younger talent. Including loans, Strasbourg have brought in 11 players over the past two windows with only one over the age of 25.

In fact, all but two are 21 or under, while the permanent exits of nine players tally an average age of 27. Chelsea have seemingly moved in a similar direction under Boehly.

Just seven players within the squad are over the age of 25, with three of them – Ben Chilwell (27), Thiago Silva (39) and Marcus Bettinelli (31) all signings made before Boehly’s arrival. However, in contrast to Strasbourg, Chelsea may have to offload several academy players this summer to keep in line with Premier League finance rules.

Conor Gallagher has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge while Trevoh Chalobah is expected to leave too. This comes after the exits of Mason Mount, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Billy Gimour during Boehly’s reign.

Chelsea fans have become agitated with the prospect of losing youth graduates once again and have long raised questions about BlueCo’s unique transfer policy, which usually involves young arrivals replacing former established players in the name of Financial Fair Play.

Strasbourg chief Keller has admitted that, in the case of his club, the aim was to reduce the average age of the squad but insists this was merely due to the team getting to “the end of our cycle”.

“The arrival of BlueCo was essential to allow Le Racing to be more competitive in the coming years,” Keller told L’Equipe, adding: “We had reached the end of our cycle. Loic (Désiré), the head of recruitment, and I were thinking that we needed to get younger.

“People tell us that we’re only interested in young people, but we considered that we had ten experienced players out of 20 or 22. We shouldn’t caricature the strategy we put in place.”

He continued: “We had a team with an average age of 28 and we wanted to go down to 23-24. We had players emerging from the training centre but it’s true that we were also able to position ourselves with youngsters who were being courted.”

Meanwhile, there are fears that Chelsea are on course to breach Premier League spending rules after it emerged that the club had made a pre-tax loss of £90m in the year to June 2023.

Academy players count as pure profit when sold, and as such there is the possibility that the likes of Gallagher and Chalobah are moved on before the end of this June to balance the finance books.

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