Cobham strikes again as Chelsea product earmarked for bright future
The success of Chelsea’s Cobham youth production factory was on full display this summer, with graduates Marc Guehi, Tino Livramento, Lewis Bate, Dynel Simeu, and Myles Peart-Harris all opting for moves away from the club. But perhaps the most buzz has come from Tino Anjorin’s move to Lokomotiv Moscow, a somewhat unexpected destination for a product of an English youth academy.
Anjorin has been touted as one of the best to come through the Chelsea youth ranks in the last half-decade, joining the likes of Reece James, Andreas Christensen, Reece James, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, Billy Gilmour, and Callum Hudson-Odoi in a long list of youngsters that have been billed for big things after completing their education.
After hitting 35-goals and 18-assists across a combined 83-appearances between Chelsea’s U18-23 pyramid, and earning a Champions League start under Frank Lampard against Krasnodar last December, Anjorin has reached the same crossroads that many academy graduates before him have run into; to fight for a place at Chelsea or go where minutes are on offer.
Though at first a move to the Russian Premier League seemed a strange one, it is the who, what, and why that has put Anjorin at the right place at the right time.
Anjorin receives iconic Lokomotiv shirt; Ralf Rangnick high on the player
It was not all too long ago that Lokomotiv Moscow retired the number 10 shirt at the club, formerly worn by now assistant manager Dmitri Loskov. Loskov, who helped Loko Parovozy to two Premier League titles, three Russian Cups, and two Russian Super Cups, is largely viewed as the club’s all-time greatest player; topping both the appearance (421) and goals (128) charts.
But now, at the will of Loskov himself, Anjorin has been granted the reinstated shirt, and will undoubtedly become a key piece of the puzzle under Marko Nikolić at the RZD Arena.
Even more important than his new number is the backing that he has received from none other than club Head of Sports and Development, Ralf Rangnick.
Rangnick, widely known across the continent for his superb work at both RB Salzburg and RB Leipzig, as well as heading up Red Bull’s global presence in the footballing community, has a brilliant track record of working with young players over the years.
The Backnang-native played a vital role in convincing Anjorin to leave a club the size of Chelsea and progress his career off the beaten path, and, as reported in The Athletic [link above], the club fully intends to exercise their option to buy the player during the January window.
Should the capital outfit look to make the move a fixed one, it could open an avenue for Anjorin to have another crack at his career at Chelsea, with the Blues having a buy-back option, should his departure become a permanent one.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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