Chelsea defender Matt Miazga sat on the bench as he saw his team suffer a 3-2 defeat in the hands of Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup. Miazga was an unused substitute in the game just like the previous one and he is one player who would be hoping that he can make it into Antonio Conte’s lineup at some part of the season especially in the cup games. The defender has already made two appearances in the league for The Blues since his transfer in January 2016, and was also impressive on his debut against Aston Villa in the Premier League.
Miazga is 21 years old and towers at 6ft 4 in which makes him a handful in the air. The United States of America international spent his youth career at the New York Red Bulls youth academy and gradually made it through to the first team. After signing a Homegrown Contract with the New York Red Bulls, the defender got his exposure in the MLS and in his two seasons (2013-15) established himself as one of the best defensive players of the league. His performances attracted the attention of Chelsea and they signed him for a reported fee of £3.5m on a four and a half year contract.
There have been some changes at Stamford Bridge in the meantime and Antonio Conte was appointed to be the manager to lead the team into the new 2016/17 season. After not playing any part in the friendlies so far, speculation regarding the future of Miazga started gaining momentum with many predicting that the defender can be loaned out to gain more first team experience this season as he won’t feature in the plans of Conte. When quizzed about the future of the player in the press conference after the latest game, the manager said, “About [Miazga’s] situation, I prefer to speak with the club.
“With the club, we are agreed that after this period, and after I have seen the situation with the players, we must take together the right decision for the player, for the club. It’s important this.”
Chelsea already do have some defenders in their ranks but with age catching up with John Terry and Kurt Zouma likely to miss the start of the season through a knee injury he suffered at the end of last season, the Italian manager is a bit short of options who can play in the first team. Conte is thus targeting some very established and experienced names in the summer window which means that he is not thinking about integrating the young defenders into his team right away. While Miazga, is a player who has talent and is good in the tackles and aerial duels, he is still not at the level of being a starter in the Premier League and with the kind of ferocious intensity and competitive edge the game is likely to be played next season, the current Chelsea manager is not even thinking about taking any chances with the young players.
A loan move will thus be the best option for the defender and if he decides to stay at the club then he will make up the numbers under the defenders column. There’s a small chance that he can even feature in the cup games but would definitely be spending the majority time on the bench for sure and at 21 he is better off getting more exposure which he will get on loan elsewhere, maybe in the Championship, which will come in handy for him next season.