Kakuta ‘Fell In Love’ With Chelsea’s Glamour, Says His Former Coach


The Blues’ advances swept the starlet off his feet, says the man who coached him at Lens – but they were warned their tactics could land them in trouble with FIFA.

Eric Assadourian, the man who coached Gael Kakuta before Chelsea persuaded the then 16-year-old to leave Lens for west London, has told the Associated Press that the football prodigy was star-struck when the Blues came calling.

“He cracked, as one would crack for a pretty woman,” said Assadourian. “He fell – quote, unquote – in love. It was a bolt of lightning.”

“Meeting [Michael] Ballack, [Didier] Drogba and the others, it was his dream. It was very tough to hold him back.”

FIFA have handed Chelsea a heavy punishment for allegedly inducing the youngster to break his contract with Lens and sign for them, banning them from transfer dealings for two windows and ordering them to compensate Lens financially.

The governing body are keen to reinforce the notion that clubs who invest time and money in nurturing young talent must be properly and adequately compensated.

And although Chelsea are furiously indignant about the severity of the punishment, and are planning to mount “the strongest appeal possible” against what they have termed FIFA’s “extraordinarily arbitrary decision,” they were apparently warned that their actions would bring sanctions.

Francis Collado, a general manager at Lens, went to London in early 2008 in an attempt to obtain compensation from Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon and director of football Frank Arnesen.

Collado told the Associated Press he warned the two executives that Chelsea could be punished severely for encouraging Kakuta to breach his contract.

He also alleged that the Premier League club offered Lens only a derisory sum of money in compensation.

“They believed that FIFA would never apply the rules to a club like Chelsea. That is where they made a mistake,” AP quoted Collado as saying.

Lens youth coach Assadourian had worked with Kakuta for a year before he left, and claimed that the player found the prospect of joining Chelsea enormously appealing. He also alleged that the Blues commenced contacts with Kakuta before he turned 16 in June 2007, and that “very important amounts” of money were also offered to the youngster.

Collado told AP that he expects the FIFA ruling to offer clubs like Lens greater protection in the future. “This is going to send a big warning,” he said, adding, “All clubs will think twice now.”


~ by footballdirecta on September 5, 2009.

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