Chelsea Technical Director prospect: Who is Paul Mitchell?

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Chelsea has always been known as a big game player in the transfer market, but it might just have found a more efficient way to get back to the pinnacle of European football. The Blues are used to spending big on well-known, big name players. At least, that’s what the club has done for the last two decades. Chelsea has built this perception of reaching into its bottomless wallet and purchasing expensive players to buy success, but how true is this belief?

Last summer, the reigning European Champions upgraded an already unbelievable squad, packed with some of the finest talent in the Premier League, with a new nine-figure acquisition from Serie A. Romelu Lukaku, however, hasn’t quite fired on all cylinders for the Blues. He has had a handful of inconsistent performances here and there, really not giving Chelsea a positive return for the huge amount spent. On the flip side, previous record signing, Kai Havertz (£ 72 million), won the club its second Champions League last season. All of this goes to show that the intention is there to spend heavy, regardless of how mega-purchases perform. This may not have to be the model for the Blues’ success for much longer though.

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Chelsea is being linked with Monaco Sporting Director Paul Mitchell

Chelsea and its fans have been used to the deep pockets at the club’s service ever since Roman Abramovich set foot in the capital in 2003. However, the Russian is now being sanctioned, so things are set to change around Stamford Bridge for the first time in nearly two decades. The ownership is changing and naturally, so will the way the club is being run. It is now being reported that out of the three bidders still in contention to take over Chelsea, two bids have included a potential Technical Director in their plans, should their bids win. The role formerly and famously occupied by Michael Emenalo has been vacant since his departure in 2017, but some of the interested parties reportedly want to bring in Monaco Sporting Director Paul Mitchell.

Therefore, the questions must be asked: who is Mitchell and why is he so highly rated?

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Mitchell is a former player who made a name for himself at Wigan Athletic and MK Dons. While he was a mediocre player during his career, he really made waves in the footballing world once he hung up his boots. The ex-Dons star stepped into a role as the club’s Head of Recruitment shortly after retirement. He was a notable reason the club brought in former Leeds and Man United star Alan Smith. He then joined Southampton and headed its transfers. Mitchell played a huge part in Saints’ promotion and he had an impressive time in the Premier League with Mauricio Pochettino at the helm on the south coast. Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Jay Rodriguez and Victor Wanyama were all players that were recruited under his watch before he left for Tottenham.

It was in north London that his career as a Head Recruiter really began to take off. He notably brought stars like Toby Alderweireld, Dele Alli, Son Heung-min and Kieran Trippier to White Hart Lane. After his departure from Spurs, he worked at RB Leipzig in Germany where he had a fair bit of success, as well. He was highly thought of there before joining Monaco in 2020 and signing some highly-rated youngsters like Myron Boadu, Alexander Nubel and Vanderson. Mitchell has remained in the role of Sporting Director for Monaco for the last few seasons, overseeing the Ligue 1 club’s transformation after success in the mid-to-late 2010s.

It’s hard to imagine Mitchell doing any worse in the transfer market than the Blues have over the last decade. Take a look back at the players that have arrived in west London for over £ 50 million and you’ll see names like Kepa Arrizabalaga, Alvaro Morata and Fernando Torres on that infamous list. While we’re not saying these transfers have been complete flops, they’ve all failed to live up to their massive price tags. It’s not a certainty that Chelsea will be able to flex the same kind of financial muscle anymore or even have the same amount of financial liberty in the market. The current FIFA Club World Cup Champions may have to become a bit more discreet under the new ownership, and that would mean more meticulously planned bargain buys.

Let’s not forget the resources that the Blues already have at their disposal either. Chelsea has an embarrassment of riches in the first team and an unbelievable academy. The Blues would be able to prevent history from repeating itself and promote the very best from the academy with Mitchell at the helm, all while bringing in some excellent players from the transfer market. While things are still uncertain at Stamford Bridge at this moment in time, Mitchell looks to be a potential addition that could actually elevate the club in the grand scheme of things.

What do you make of the potential addition of Mitchell? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter!

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