Social media is a wonderful thing. You can be distracted from distraction by distraction. Someone once said that the more passionate and argumentative that they get online, the more followers and friends they make. That may well be true, but when it comes to professional football players, the reality might be a little bit different.
It seems that only Joleon Lescott has the ability to tweet from his pocket. The former Sevco target endured the wrath of Aston Villa fans after tweeting a pic of a very expensive Mercedes just after a 6-0 home humping by Liverpool. There was that time when Wayne Rooney tweeted himself threatening to “put you to sleep”. A warm bath and a Horlicks would surely haven taken care of it? Spurs fans will surely remember when Jan Vertonghen was brutally honest on Twitter by posting that “We are shit”. He wasn’t actually meaning the football team that he plays for but needless to say, it went viral and he wasn’t painted in a good light. Even the best players in the world can get caught out. The Ronaldo tweet about appreciating all of the photos that he’d seen in the CR7 Boy’s Underwear Competition was more than unfortunate. The main question obviously is why such a competition even exists?!? When you post your unimpressed thoughts about Jake Bugg on Twitter and he bites back by saying that “You play for Derby”, then you can guess that Will Hughes’ phone probably saw a ton of action that night with mentions and retweets. VIctor Wanyama is someone who will always be fondly remembered by Celtic fans. That spaghetti tweet went viral, to the extent that when they signed him, Spurs’ social media team parodied it. Serge Aurier found himself in hot water at PSG when he posted a video criticising his manager and team-mates. Not the best idea he’s ever had. FFP may well be touted as the reason why he was punted to Spurs but his online antics didn’t exactly stand him in good stead with the hierarchy in the French capital.
Reported target Charly Musonda, has become one of the latest players to fall foul with his manager due to an unfortunate online post. He’s been told by Antonio Conte has told to focus on his football, not social media, after complaining about a lack of first team opportunities on Instagram. He’s been fined for his outburst and has made only one start this season, against the Magic Hat’s Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup, scoring the third goal in a 5-1 win but looks set to go out on loan in January as punishment. Many rumours have surfaced in the English press that the manager would be keen to take the Belgian U21 international north come the new year. Is it really that likely though? Surely the one position that doesn’t need strengthening is the number 10 role, although the 21 year old can play as a winger also. If he does come, does that mean a January exit for Jonny Hayes?
Starting out at our UCL group foes, Anderlecht, he quickly attracted the notice of some big European clubs, including Barcelona and Real Madrid at just 15 years of age. Needless to say, the bigger EPL clubs came sniffing around too and he joined Chelsea along with two of his older brothers for a fee of over £2m. Discount for a job lot?
After being a regular for their U18 side, he signed his first professional contract just after turning 17. He signed an extended deal to 2019 a couple of years ago on a reported £12k per week and is clearly not short on self confidence. Why shouldn’t he be? He’s already a UEFA Youth League winner, the tournament set up to combat the increasing popularity of the NextGen Series. It’s the same tournament that the young Hoops played in on Wednesday when they went down 6-2 to Bayern.
Two seasons ago, and still only 19, he asked to go out on loan due to lack of first team opportunities. Standard Liège were first in the queue but he promptly rejected a switch back to Belgium. He’d finally get his wish at the start of last year when he swapped Stamford Bridge for the Estadio Benito Villamarín, the home of Real Betis. So he has experience of playing in green and white in Seville? Just saying.
He played 24 times for Betis that season, chipping in with a solitary goal. Man of the match in his first game in a home win against Valencia was more than a good start to life in Spain. The Spanish side had requested that there be an option in the loan agreement that a move could be made permanent but Chelsea declined.
Two footed and decent in the air for someone who stands at 5’8, he’s clearly got the talent to play at a level higher than the EPL U23 league. Former team mate Dominic Solanke clearly felt the same when he opted to go to Liverpool. Coincidentally, Musonda came on as a sub for Solanke in the first leg of the FA Youth Cup Final against Fulham in 2014 and scored ten minutes later. Patrick Roberts played 90 minutes in the game so it’s not just Rodgers who’ll have witnessed Musonda’s talents at first hand. Moussa Dembélé also played and scored to make it 1-1 and Fulham would eventually go on to win the game 3-2 although they’d lose out on aggregate with both Celts scoring in the second leg at Stamford Bridge in a 5-3 defeat.
Back to Musonda though.
Conte has already posited that versatility is one of Musonda’s key strengths. Speaking last month before the Instagram shenanigans, he said, “We’re talking about a young player with really good prospects, now it’s important that he’s working very well. In my mind he could play like No.10 or like a winger and in the future he could play also as a wing-back.” With Chelsea offering Juventus over £60m for Alex Sandro and having Willian, Eden Hazard and Pedro for the 10 role, then a loan move makes sense for the youngster. With European football into 2018 being almost guaranteed then it seems to be a move that would make sense the more you think about it. Working with a manager that has a reputation for improving young players? Check. Winning trophies? Almost certainly. Putting yourself in the shop window and either getting the move you want or getting your current club to up your wages and promise you more game time? Nothing to lose, right?
He’s been linked with Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester United also but if he’s looking for game time, does a Glasgow switch make more sense? You’d have to think so. Not many would argue that Forrest upped his game last season and this, when PR7 rocked up in G40. Whilst Sinclair is having a good season thus far, despite some fans thinking that he’s started slowly, would his game suddenly go up another notch? Could it have the same effect for Rogic, Armstrong and McGregor in that role behind the striker?
Someone coming in on loan without the option to buy doesn’t always sit well with a section of the support but you’d rather have the talent here than not? Wouldn’t you?