For Chelsea fans, the last few years have been a culmination of many years of jibes from other fans. Told for years that the clubs academy was a mirage, that no real talent emerged into the first-team, things have changed. The transfer ban the club incurred played a major role in stopping the Blues from signing first-team talent.
At the same time, former club legend Frank Lampard took over as coach and promptly set about giving games to the likes of Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Fikayo Timori. While the latter two have slowly but surely faded from the picture, with Tomori being sold, it did prove one thing: the Blues academy is by no means a mirage.
This has not stopped young players moving on, though. This summer, the likes of Tammy Abraham moved on from the club despite being a semi-regular under Lampard. A name who moved on who Chelsea fans might not have been too aware of, though, was Tino Livramento. The youngster was viewed as an exceptional talent, but took the decision to move on and start fresh at Southampton.
Leaving his boyhood club was never an easy choice, having spent over a decade at Chelsea. However, the England U21 star was keen to make his way in the senior game and judged that an exit was the best opportunity. A move to Southampton was arrange, and the player has been outstanding in the Premier League so far.
So much so that talk of using the £25m buyback which was reported in his contract is no longer seen as fanciful. The player has quickly started to make a big impression on the South Coast, and has featured in every game so far – and both Thomas Tuchel and current coach Ralph Hasenhüttl have spoken about the player in glowing terms.
The player, though, was also keen to ensure that his future at Chelsea could be an open one.
What did Tino Livramento say about returning to Chelsea?
When speaking to Mirror Sport about his potential future, Livramento was quizzed on a move back to Stamford Bridge. On that topic, he said: “Maybe one day, but I’m just enjoying my football at the moment at Southampton, that’s where my head’s at right now.
“Just trying to pick up as many points as possible and improving individually. It was never going to be easy. Not being with coaches that have seen me grow from seven to 18, was never going to be easy.
“You just have to look at what is best for you and have good people around you who want what is best for you, a good agent, dad and family. Everything just fell into place.”
While that might sound non-committal, it is clear that the player has one eye on a future at the top level of the English game. While Southampton offers the ideal place to develop and grow, Livramento looks like a talent who could thrive on the big stage.
Maybe one day, like so many other former Blues players, Livramento will return to the club. If he does, fans will be delighted to see another player prove the baseless comments on the club’s academy wrong.