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Official: Chelsea announce new recruitment director

The Blues continue to revamp their backroom staff


Chelsea FC Club Crest - Image ID: DD6080

Chelsea have confirmed the addition of Joe Shields as the club’s new co-director or recruitment and talent in west London, poaching him from Southampton where he had been for just three months.

Shields has a strong reputation within the game, and it was regarded as a massive coup for the Saints to land him in July. Top young talent followed him, with Manchester City quartet Gavin Bazunu, Romeo Lavia, Sam Edozie and Juan Larios all making the move South to St Mary’s, while 19-year-old Sekou Mara and 21-year-old Arnel Bella-Kotchap also both arrived as they looked to inject more youth into the ranks of Ralph Hassenhutl’s side.

Such was the impression made by Lavia in particular during the opening weeks of the season that Chelsea had a £50m offer turned down for the midfielder towards the end of the transfer window.

Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly told Chelsea’s in-house media that ‘Joe is another great addition to Chelsea, and we’re thrilled to have him on board. We have a clear plan and will adopt a modern and data-driven philosophy, focused on elite emerging talent.”

“We’re assembling a deep and collaborative management team who are eager to build a continued sustained winner at Chelsea. Joe has a great track record and understanding of the game and emerging talent. We know we have another strong leader and a team player who will help us continue to build our world-class football organisation.”

Shields is not the only new face in the Chelsea hierarchy. Following the departures of Bruce Buck, Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech, an entirely new footballing body is being assembled. Christopher Vivell has arrived from RB Leipzig as Technical director, while there is still hope that another will come in as a new Sporting Director, though the right man has yet to be found, with RB Salzburg’s Cristophe Freund having turned down the opportunity.

With the Blues set to move operating method to a more self-sustaining model rather than the lavish Roman Abramovich spending option, a new head of recruitment with such a strong track record is a good start.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.



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