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Mark Robins explains Coventry City’s link with Chelsea

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On their journey from League Two to the race for promotion to the Premier League, Coventry City and Chelsea have had a mutually beneficial relationship in developing younger players.

Fankaty Dabo, Ian Maatsen and Jake Clarke-Salter have all joined the club from the Champions League winners, the former on a permanent basis, with Mark Robins trusted with improving them and providing a positive experience in English football before returning to their parent club.

Robins explained how the relationship has worked so well when he spoke to The Athletic.

He said: “Our recruitment department have cultivated a good relationship with Chelsea over the years. They know how we play, the style of football we are trying to promote, and they want to send their players here as part of their education. All these guys are technically proficient.

“They’ve all played in the Netherlands at some stage in their careers and you can tell they’ve been well-coached there and at Chelsea. They’re technically excellent and have had really good groundings even if, now, their careers are at different stages.”

Todd Kane also joined the club this summer with previous links to the Blues, the loan market can be so crucial to overachieving in the Football League and it is a credit to Robins and his staff that they have established such an effective link with one of the best academies in world football.

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Chelsea’s youth development has been criticised a lot in recent years in not producing enough players for English football.

That argument has to now be redundant with players leaving the Cobham-based setup and carving out careers in the Football League every year.

Coventry has become a hotbed for this to take place and the club’s upward trajectory should only increase if they can continue to utilise the link they have established.

It speaks volumes to Robins’ ability as a manager to have been trusted by the likes of Thomas Tuchel, Frank Lampard and Maurizio Sarri to develop the Blues’ younger players in recent years, and with the Sky Blues’ rise they will be able to inherit these players on a permanent basis far more regularly.


Passionate Football League obsessive and long-suffering Charlton Athletic supporter.

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Article title: Mark Robins explains Coventry City’s link with Chelsea

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