Home > Chelsea, Football, Sport, Transfers > Sidwell Signs For Blues

Sidwell Signs For Blues


Reading revelation, Steve Sidwell, has signed for newly crowned FA Cup Champions, Chelsea. The 24 year old midfielder, whose contract with premiership surprise package, Reading, expires on the 1st of July, completed his “dream move” following a successful medical last week. Chelsea were favourites to land the England under 21 international despite reported interest from Newcastle, Everton and Aston Villa.

It is likely that Sidwell will be the first of three new signings for the London Club with manager, Jose Mourinho, reportedly looking to add another striker and a defender to the Chelsea ranks. The player who, in 2004, was voted the best footballer outside the Premiership has clearly been turning heads for some time before his move to Chelsea. After running away with the Championship last year, Reading faced a decision of whether to cash in on their star player who was garnering interest from Manchester City and Charlton Athletic or whether to keep him for their first season in English top flight football. Although Sidwell had refused to sign a new contract and was more than likely to move on when his contract expired Reading manager, Steve Coppell, kept faith with him and this decision has played a huge factor in Reading’s astonishing achievement this season.

Finishing 8th and only missing out on European competition on the last day of the season, Reading stunned the footballing world with their performances this season and Sidwell more than stood out. Having been the first Reading player ever to be named in the England under 21’s squad, his high profile signing for Chelsea will no doubt increase his chances for a full international call up even though players of the calibre of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Owen Hargreaves stand in his way.

Even though a player of the quality of Sidwell was always going to move on to bigger things than Reading was his move to Chelsea a good one? Considering the level of competition for places at Chelsea he certainly has not guaranteed himself first team football. As a player who was unable to break into the Arsenal first team has he reached too high? Judging by his performances this season this season, certainly not. Strong performances or not, however, making it at Chelsea will be an extraordinary challenge. One may be forgiven for thinking of Chelsea as a club where promising players simply get lost. I was saying this about Shaun Wright-Phillips up until his recent resurgence. The player turnover at the club has been immense in the past four years and the strength and depth they have, especially in midfield, makes one wonder whether Sidwell would have been better off at a club (possibly) on the up like Newcastle, Everton or Villa.

Consider Scott Parker; one of the most promising lights of English football a few years ago, he was signed by Chelsea and faded out of the public eye. Strong performances for Newcastle this season have seen his supporters fighting his corner again but his time in the footballing wilderness severely impacted on his career and there is a sense that the same thing may be said about Sidwell in three or four years time.

Regardless of what is said, however, it must be acknowledged that Sidwell has earned his shot at the big time and I genuinely hope he makes it because he has shown himself this season to be a great professional and an exciting talent.


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Categories: Chelsea, Football, Sport, Transfers
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