Michael Emenalo, the Chelsea Technical Director and former Enugu Rangers and Nigeria left-back has spoken out after Chelsea’s controversial “stockpiling” of players has been the subject of criticism.
The club has more than 30 players out on loan, including Nigerian winger Victor Moses – farmed out to West ham for this season. There have been suggestions that Chelsea sometimes sign players to prevent rivals from getting them. Their players on loan to other English Premier League clus like Moses, also get a chance to hurt Chelsea’s rivals and are not alloed to play against Chelsea.
Emenalo said in an interview with Chelsea TV: “We have the difficult job of trying to balance being successful with making sure we have the right players at the right time. Sometimes we know there are players whose development is not finished, just like Victor [Moses], who we want to keep with our squad but who maybe needs to play more football to get to the level we think he can get to, because he is very, very talented.”
He added: “These players go to top clubs and when they get there they prove we don’t recruit bad players, just like Salah did last season”. Egyptian Mohammed Salah scored nine goals while on loan to Fiorentina in Italy’s Serie A.
Another Nigerian player on Chelsea’s books is centre-back Kenneth Omeruo, currently on loan to Turkish club Kasımpaşa. He was previously loaned to Ado Den Haag in Holland and Middlesbrough in the English Championship.
Emenalo said of Colombian winger Cuadrado, signed in February from Fiorentina, but now on loan to Juventus, that the expectation is that he will “rediscover his confidence”.
Some of those signings have not worked out in Emenalo’s view because: “Sometimes the timing is not right for them.”