“Who’s going to tell him?” Todd Boehly, Chelsea’s American owner, is mocked by fans after he claimed that Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne got through the club’s academy when the club collectively spent £19 million to sign them
- Chelsea co-owner made the extraordinary claim during a speech in New York
- Boehly praised talent production line at Stamford Bridge
- He included Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne in his list of examples
- Chelsea spent £12million in 2014 to buy Salah from Swiss club Basel
- They bought Belgian star De Bruyne from Genk for a £7 million deal in 2012
Todd Boehly has been mocked after suggesting Premier League stars Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne would come out of Chelsea’s academy.
The American owner of The Blues was present at the production line on Stamford Bridge on Tuesday during the SALT conference in New York.
He said: ‘We have one of the best academies in the world. If you look at what our academy has developed, our academy is Mo Salah, Kevin De Bruyne.
Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly claimed the club’s academy spawned Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah during a speech in New York
De Bruyne was signed by Chelsea from Belgian club Genk . in 2012 at the age of 20
Meanwhile, Salah was bought from Basel in January 2014 for £12 million after emerging in Egypt
More recently, Tammy Abraham, Reece James, Mason Mount, Trevoh Chalobah.
“We now have 10 or 11 players who are either loaned out and controlled by us, we have the right to buy them back, whether they play for our team or our academy.”
But supporters were quick to point out that while Chelsea started De Bruyne and Salah at a young age, they certainly didn’t graduate from their own academy.
Egyptian striker Salah, now with Liverpool, broke through as a teenager with Egyptian Premier League club Al Mokawloon before joining Swiss club Basel in 2012.
He spent two seasons there before Chelsea signed him, aged 21, to a deal worth £12 million in January 2014.
But Salah rarely played at Stamford Bridge, making just 19 appearances and scoring just twice, while also being loaned out to Fiorentina and then Roma, who signed him in 2016.
De Bruyne made just nine first-team appearances for Chelsea, but became a star elsewhere
Salah played just 19 games for the Blues before kicking off his career at Roma
De Bruyne, now at Manchester City, progressed through the academy system at Genk in his native Belgium, playing 113 times for their first team before Chelsea bought him as a 20-year-old for £7 million in January 2012.
Like Salah, he rarely played for the club, making just nine first-team appearances, although he was loaned out to Werder Bremen in his first season.
It wasn’t until he joined Wolfsburg in 2014 that his career took off again and he duly developed into one of the world’s best players after City signed him for £55 million in August 2015.
Both players were international footballers for Egypt and Belgium respectively when Chelsea signed them.
Social media fans were quick to point out Boehly’s gaffe over the academy graduates
Of course, fans quickly picked up on Boehly’s gaffe. One wrote: ‘How is Salah and De Bruyne Chelsea’s Academy? They were 22 and 21 when they came to Chelsea. That is ridiculous.’
Another tweeted: ‘If it were necessary to point out how funny this statement is, Salah and De Bruyne had both played 120+ games of first team professional football before Chelsea bought them. Academy graduates?’
Even a Chelsea fan said, ‘Who’s going to tell him we haven’t developed Mo or KdB?’