So when Chelsea announced that they had released 16 year old starlet Connor Hunte, I was left in a state of confusion and disappointment. Hunte had been slated as being one of the most promising youngsters to come through our academy and ranks, and had even helped our NextGen Series team last year in making the final. So why had the club parted ways with such a talent, and where was the reason?
Not much had been said, but from recent development it has been understood that Hunte was released for what seems a disagreement with the club. His attitude and poor professionalism had become a problem at Cobham, and with Roman Abramovich’s recent concern with the development of stars in our academy, the last resort was to let Hunte go his way.
The apparent disagreement which led to Hunte’s release has already put him on the wish list for clubs such as Manchester City and Liverpool, who are keen in signing the England U-17 star. These developments also come 2 months before Hunte was to turn 17, and sign his professional contract with Chelsea which could have seen him sign long term. His development under the watchful eye of Neil Bath has been extraordinary, but as the club look to change their profile, there was apparently no room for his off pitch behavior.
The last player Chelsea released for behavior was young star Jacob Mellis who had confessed to setting off a smoke grenade at the training facilities. The true extent of Connor Hunte’s departure has not been released, but the similarity between his situation and Mellis’ is surely not the same.
Let us hope that our club’s standards are well worth the extent of losing such a talent, but knowing how our academy is being run now a days, I rest assured that the situation was within reason. Connor Hunte truly was a top talent, and his imminent arrival at a rival club will surely leave a sour taste amongst those of us who truly admired his play.