Thierry Henry has criticized Todd Boehly after the Chelsea co-owner seemed to imply that Kevin de Bruyne and Mohamed Salah were both developed at Stamford Bridge.
Boehly has made headlines multiple times already since his £4.25billion takeover was rubber-stamped back in May. And the LA Dodgers supremo has been the focus of even more attention than usual in recent days after dismissing Thomas Tuchel and then raising the prospect of an ‘All-Star’ North vs South clash.
Boehly’s big proposal, which was revealed on Tuesday, has, unsurprisingly, been met with disapproval. The Blues manager has also come under fire as a result of a slip-up at the SALT conference in New York.
While talking about the club, Boehly was lauding Chelsea’s revered academy when he listed Salah and De Bruyne alongside some of the club’s most famous academy graduates.
“We’ve got one of the best academies in the world,” Boehly said. “Our academy is Mo Salah, Kevin De Bruyne, Tammy Abraham, Reece James, Mason Mount, Trevoh Chalobah.”
But although Salah and De Bruyne both spent time on the books at Chelsea before rising to prominence with Liverpool and Manchester City respectively, neither player came through the club’s academy; both were purchased for multi-million pound transfer fees.
And Henry, who seemed to have been less than impressed with Boehly’s embarrassing remark, spoke out on CBS Sport and said: “Did he say a lesson? A lesson? What’s that supposed to mean? What are they trying to teach? A lesson? Are you a teacher or something? The comment about De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah… just learn your own lessons and then come back and teach us something.”
Boehly’s comments came during a segment where he outlined the big emphasis that Chelsea have placed on youth development – and the plans they have to take their current approach to the next level, which include the formation of a multi-club network.
The Blues chief added: “I think there are different countries where there are advantages to having a club. Red Bull does a really good job, they’ve got Leipzig and they have Salzburg, both of which are playing in the Champions League. They’ve figured out how to make that work.
“You have Man City, which has a big network of clubs. The challenge that Chelsea has right now is that when you have 18 to 20 year-old superstars, you can loan them out to other clubs but you put their development in someone else’s hands.
“Our goal is to make sure we can develop pathways for our Chelsea superstars to get onto the pitch while getting game-time. For me, the way to do that is to get another club in a very competitive league, maybe somewhere in Europe.”