Harvey Vale fights for Chelsea future amid long term contract uncertainty
Pathway to minutes needed for Harvey Vale
There is no disputing just how efficient and effective Chelsea has become when it comes to youth production through its vaunted Cobham Academy, and the Blues could be set to unleash another potential starlet fresh off the pipeline tonight in the vein of 18-year-old England U19 youth international Harvey Vale.
Harvey Vale is making his first start (debut) for #CFC tonight. This is what I wrote about him last month – this is another step in hopefully persuading him to sign a new deal. #BRECHE: https://t.co/edZjrem3VM
— Simon Johnson (@SJohnsonSport) December 22, 2021
Chelsea lock horns with newly-promoted Brentford at the Brentford Community Stadium in their Carabao Cup quarterfinal tie, offering the perfect opportunity for Thomas Tuchel to offer a bit of reprieve for a number of key assets in the team amid the hectic festive period and presenting Vale with a taste of first-team action that could be the key for his long-term future in west London.
Vale comes highly-rated through the Chelsea youth ranks and looks set to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Mason Mount, Trevoh Chalobah, and Callum Hudson-Odoi, but without guaranteed minutes under his belt moving forward, the England youngster could opt for an alternative pathway similar to other academy products that have looked to greener pastures either on a temporary basis or permanently.
Highly rated Cobham products Tino Livramento and Lewis Bate both left Chelsea in the summer to Southampton and Leeds United respectively, with Livramento immediately making the right-back birth under Ralph Hasenhüttl his own at St. Mary’s Stadium. Additionally, Armando Broja joined Saints on loan and has found his scoring touch in the Premier League, currently leading the club in goals with four to his name. And who can forget the contributions on display from Conor Gallagher and Billy Gilmour at Crystal Palace and Norwich as well.
Though Thomas Tuchel seems to keep to give opportunities to those that rise through the youth ranks, the reality that Chelsea find itself remains one of their need to continue to spend in order to keep pace with both Manchester City and Liverpool, with perhaps not enough pathways becoming available to suit the needs of those that stand next in line.
‘A natural baller’ and next in line at Chelsea?
Having only recently reached the age of 18, Harvey Vale still has ample time to complete his education at Chelsea before seriously planning out his long-term pathway. But with a contract that ends in 2023, the Blues should certainly try to nail him down to a lengthy new deal if they are to avoid past mistakes.
4 years of seeing Harvey Vale for Chelsea and England
I have seen him play
No idea where he will end up in the future,
But he can play ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/rqGayAmz5R
— TheSecretScout (@TheSecretScout_) December 22, 2021
But for Vale, a player described by sports performance coach Tom Joyce as ‘a natural baller,’ the time to decide could come sooner rather than later given the expectations that continue to grow around him;
“He’s a natural baller and makes it look easy. He’s dedicated and a really hard worker. When I teach him something new, or get him to perform a drill, he won’t stop until he’s got it right. He’s determined, and I like that in an athlete. He’s got great passing accuracy and an unbelievable shot, too.
He’s a hard worker, so he just needs to stay consistent, put in the work behind the scenes and gain every advantage he can. I believe Harvey will soon follow Tino in making regular Premier League appearances, as he (Livramento) has shown he is capable of making the transition from the U23s. It has been exceptional.
Perhaps the versatility that Vale has shown throughout his progression in the Chelsea youth ranks will serve him well in a bid to find a pathway into the Blues’ first team set up moving forward.
With Chelsea expected to compete for major honors both in the Premier League as well as the Champions League, he offers a homegrown profile that Thomas Tuchel can tap into tactically on any given day without the potential struggles to fit into whatever role is asked of him.
Could Chelsea fans have yet another star on their hands for the future? They will certainly hope so.