I’m sure all of you are aware of the name, Gael Kakuta. Not for his skills on the field but for all the antics off it. Chelsea’s young forward was caught up in one of the biggest football stories of last season. Chelsea and Kakuta were deemed to broken FIFA rules regarding the Frenchman’s transfer from Lens in 2007.
On 3 September 2009, it was announced by the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber, that Kakuta would be banned for four months and be fined €780,000 due to a breach of contract with his old club Lens in order to sign for Chelsea in the summer of 2007. Chelsea were also banned from signing any players in the next two transfer windows due to their involvement in inducing the player to break his contract at Lens, meaning they would have been unable to buy or sell players until January 2011. Further to this they received a €130,000 fine, payable to RC Lens.
The club stated that they would “mount the strongest appeal possible” and described the behavior of FIFA as “extraordinarily arbitrary decision”. Chelsea believed “the sanctions are without precedent to this level and totally disproportionate to the alleged offense and the financial penalty imposed”.Chelsea appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, who subsequently lifted the sanctions on the club and the player after ruling that Kakuta did not have a valid contract with Lens, and therefore could not have breached it. Chelsea’s transfer ban was suspended later in the same year, and was lifted in February 2010.
After overcoming that, Kakuta will be looking to make the headlines for the right reasons this season. The highly rated 19 year old is looking to make the breakthrough into the Chelsea first team this campaign after being on the periphery for so long at the Blues.
With Joe Cole leaving the club, manager Carlo Ancelotti may feel the time is right to blood the youngster. Football pundits note that Kakuta became Chelsea’s youngest player to play in the Champion’s League.
He made his debut against APOEL last season, receiving plaudits from Ancelotti for his performance. He has been capped by France at Under 17, 18 and 19 level and comparisons have been made between Kakuta and Chelsea team-mate Flourent Malouda.
The feeling amongst the Chelsea coaching staff is that Kakuta has a bright future at the club and with Chelsea looking to hold onto the title they won last season, it maybe the perfect season for the youngster to shine.
Chelsea is becoming a club that is beginning to be seriously considering injecting young legs in the first team next season. With the high profile departures of Michael Ballack, Joe Cole, Juliano Belletti and Deco, there is enough evidence to suggest that this is the way Chelsea are going to approach the season.
A lot fans have always said that Chelsea doesn’t know how to develop the young players, and the only way they know how to win titles is to spend, spend, spend. But I have gut feeling that now is the time that Chelsea will show the world what they have all been waiting for.
After the recent disappointment of prestigious young talent Miroslav Stoch, people again started to cast doubts over Chelsea’s youth policy. But let’s be frank friends, Kakuta is an exceptional talent and people who say he hasn’t got the physique which is required to sustain in the Premier League will soon realise how wrong they were.
Last season Chelsea’s youth academy won the F.A.Youth Cup after almost 5 decades. That was a pretty accurate sign of how their youth academy has developed over the last few years and a sign of what is to come. This is the season Gael Kakuta will step forward and show the Chelsea fans what all the fuss has been about.