Tomas Kalas’ Chelsea career will be remembered for unfulfilled potential

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

According to the Bristol Post, Chelsea loanee Tomas Kalas will make his move to Bristol City permanent this summer.

What’s the word?

The 26-year-old’s impending move to Ashton Gate was just a day after it was confirmed that fellow Chelsea man Jay Dasilva would also be joining the Championship side on a permanent deal.

The report adds that Kalas will become the club’s highest-paid player after making 38 appearances in the league last season, forming a fine central defensive partnership with Adam Webster.

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The permanent move away from Stamford Bridge puts an end to what has been a painful time since joining Chelsea way back in the summer of 2010.

Join at your peril

More than anything, Kalas’ exit from west London should be seen as a cautionary tale to fellow youngsters and up-and-coming stars. The Czech Republic international was highly-rated when he joined from Sigma Olomuc and the Blues had been reported to have beaten off competition from the likes of Arsenal, Milan and Bayer Leverkusen.

The then 17-year-old was regarded as a real coup by Chelsea, and academy manager at the time Neil Bath exclaimed: “We feel there is a lot of potential in the player, and we feel at the minute it is the right time to get him.”

The key phrase in that? The right time. Oh, the irony. Kalas had barely played professional football and when he did join up with the Blues squad the following season, it was to a team that was competing at the high end for trophies and dining at the top table for transfers.

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Someone like Kalas, who was a rough diamond really, simply wasn’t going to get the chance. In the end, the versatile defender has spent time on loan at six different clubs and has never looked like fulfilling the potential that earned him a move to the bright lights of Chelsea. His career should be a stark warning to those who look for the big move too soon.

Kalas’ departure marks the exit of Chelsea’s ‘longest-serving player’. But unlike the legends before him who have had that honour in their time at Stamford Bridge, he will leave with his tail tucked between his legs as a barely relevant footnote in their history books.

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