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Frank Arnesen defends Chelsea spending

Fernando Torres
Torres joined Chelsea for a record British transfer fee

Chelsea's sporting director Frank Arnesen has defended the capture of Fernando Torres, saying it does not stop the club producing its own talent.

Spanish striker Torres, 26, signed from Liverpool for £50m on 31 January, the same day that English forward Daniel Sturridge moved to Bolton on loan.

But Arnesen, who has been responsible for the club's academy, told BBC Radio 5 live: "[Torres signing] is fantastic.

"Because bringing players in doesn't close the door for the others."

The Dane has been at the club since joining from Tottenham in 2005 and will leave his post at the end of the season.

"We have to make sure the other boys are good enough when the time is right and that will happen, there is no doubt about it," he added.

"This will give them inspiration. If you can get Torres in, a European champion, a world champion, one of the best strikers in the world, if he comes to the club everybody is happy."

Chelsea have been criticised for spending huge sums on players rather than producing new talent through the club's academy, which is one of the best facilities in the Premier League.

If you want to win trophies you always need to have the best players. If you want young players then you will probably not win a lot of trophies

Frank Arnesen

The club won the FA Youth Cup last season, the first time since 1961, and 17-year-old English midfielder Josh McEachran has increasingly been used by first-team boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Captain John Terry is the last significant player to establish himself in the first team and Sturridge, 21, has failed to start regularly since his move from Manchester City in 2009.

Following his switch to Bolton, where he will stay until the end of the season, he has scored two goals in two games.

In addition to signing Torres on transfer deadline day, Chelsea also paid Benfica about £21m for Brazilian defender David Luiz.

But Arnesen, who became sporting director in July last year to help Ancelotti, argued that the club's philosophy under owner Roman Abramovich meant they had to sign big players in order to win trophies.

"Roman always believed in the academy. He has given us time and he has patience," Arnesen said.

"On the other hand, he knows, wants and demands that we have to win. So we will always sign players from outside, I think it is normal. If you want to be top or win trophies you always need to have the best players. If you want young players then you will probably not win a lot of trophies.

"It is down to the philosophy of the club. If the demands are that we don't need to win trophies, we want to be involved in the Champions League then it is ok, no problem, then use the young players.

"But if you have other goals like we have, where we try to win everything, every year, then we need the best players."

Arnesen also defended his youth development record at the club.

"There has been enormous progress," he said. "When I came to the club six years ago…we had six players from 16 to 20 who were playing in national teams, now it is only six players not playing.

"Obviously they are now getting older and older...and now those players are becoming men and we can see them sniffing around the first team which has been the idea all the time.

"When I sat down with Roman from the beginning, he said he wanted a five-year plan from 2005 and if we can get a player into the first-team squad he would would be very satisfied.

"I said it's reasonable even with Chelsea being at the highest, highest level that we can do that. Now this summer there were five players coming through into the first-team squad.

"Obviously we already had Sturridge, he came in at 18 and he is now 21 so he is the oldest of the younger players. We have Gael Kakuta, Patrick van Aanholt, Jeffrey Bruma and Josh McEachran."

French forward Kakuta, 19, is currently on loan at Fulham and was embroiled in a row between Chelsea and previous club Lens in 2009 when he was accused of breaking his contract to join the London team in 2007.

Dutch defenders Van Aanholt, 20, and Bruma, 19, have had limited appearances in the first team.

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see also
Chelsea pay record fee for Torres
31 Jan 11 |  Chelsea
Chelsea complete signing of Luiz
01 Feb 11 |  Chelsea
Bolton seal Sturridge loan deal
31 Jan 11 |  Bolton
Wenger questions Chelsea spending
02 Feb 11 |  Arsenal
Arnesen resigns from Chelsea post
27 Nov 10 |  Chelsea
Arnesen takes on new Chelsea role
12 Jul 09 |  Chelsea

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