The signature of Gael Kakuta has caused Chelsea plenty of problems, but the French forward finally made his Premiership debut against Wolves and by all accounts he made a promising start. After making an appearance for Chelsea’s reserves yesterday, Kakuta has now said that the Premier League is easier than playing for the reserves, but is he just setting himself up for a fall? After all the trouble that his transfer has caused, wouldn’t Kakuta be well-advised to keep a fairly low-profile and just show the Chelsea fans that his signature was worth all the effort?
The background to Gael Kakuta is well-documented, but with his and Chelsea’s transfer ban suspended for the moment, he now has the opportunity to put that behind him and get on with what he is being paid to do, play football. There is plenty of expectation surrounding the French youngster with Premiership fans wondering whether his transfer is worth all the hassle off the field. Now Kakuta has fuelled those expectations and has heaped the pressure on himself, but is he a strong enough character and good enough player to back up his claims on the pitch?
In what can be only described as an ill-advised interview after his match against the Birmingham City reserves yesterday, Kakuta has downplayed the challenge of the Premiership. He is quoted in The Guardian saying in reference to the Premier League that “it is easier than the reserves.” While at first hand that may sound like an outrageous statement, the Frenchman does go on to try and qualify his thoughts. He continued “because the game is much quicker, you have more choice when you play and you can play one-touch or two-touch.” For many players, playing with a higher standard of footballer around them does bring the best out of them, but you can bet certain Premiership players won’t forget what Kakuta said.
Kakuta’s first outing in the Premier League wasn’t exactly the toughest test that he will face if he plays for the first-team more often. He came on with the game over, as Chelsea were beating Wolves 4-0 and there was a relaxed atmosphere at Stamford Bridge, with the crowd in a celebratory mood. Compare that with a possible future appearance against Manchester United when the pressure is really on, or when he faces a club who are battling for their Premiership status and fighting for every ball, and then we will see how he stands up to the quality of the Premier League. While I can understand Kakuta’s thoughts, surely Carlo Ancelotti would be well-advised to tell the youngster to keep his head down and let his football do the talking.
There is no doubt that Gael Kakuta is a talented young footballer that Chelsea vigorously pursued to bring him to Stamford Bridge. While he might have made an encouraging debut, there are much tougher tests standing ahead of Kakuta and after his latest comments he will be a marked man and some fans will hope that he is brought down a peg or two. Kakuta definitely shouldn’t get ahead of himself, but can he back up his confidence off the pitch with performances on it and show that the efforts in trying to sign him were worth it?