The Blues are set to hire a new director of recruitment and have turned to a former Manchester City man to do so
Todd Boehly, a co-owner of Chelsea, plans to continue the team’s extensive renovation behind the scenes as he looks for a new director of recruitment. It follows a massive turnover of key personnel in the football and operational staff at the club that the American billionaire started in an effort to have everything running according to their desired model.
The Clearlake-Boehly consortium, which took ownership in May but had to go through the summer transfer window with a record spending of £271 million, is still in its infancy. Boehly pretended to be an interim sporting director while carrying out all of these tasks as he considered additional infrastructural upgrades.
The LA Dodgers’ owner has spoken publicly about a number of club-changing initiatives, such as employing a multi-club model and maximizing the potential of their on-site academy. The most recent action is to appoint a director of recruitment, a position left open by the departing Scott McLachlan last month.
According to reports from Fabrizio Romano, Southampton’s Joe Shields has been sounded out over a possible move to Stamford Bridge to fill the role. The Blues are believed to be closing in on an agreement that could be viewed as a huge statement of intent from Boehly.
Shields was highly influential to Manchester City’s recent success, helping build their scouting network and finding the likes of Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho in his time as head of youth recruitment. In the summer, he made the switch to Southampton, being part of a squad overhaul that included signing a number of youngsters from City.
One of which was Romeo Lavia, who impressed so much in his short time at the Saints, the Blues are said to have offered £50million on deadline day to land the midfielder. Looking to poach the man behind the original deal, Boehly has made his move.
Pep Guardiola has been full of praise for the work of Shields, saying earlier this year: “The guy [former head of youth recruitment Joe Shields] who was here is now in Southampton and brings them there. It’s an incredible experience at this early age to be ready to play almost week in, and week out. To try to do that is incredible.”
It remains to be seen whether he can have the same impact at Chelsea in such a short time, however, the move could end up being a long-term one that could pay off for Boehly.