Chelsea go empty-handed: The amazing turnaround at Olise

Chelsea go empty-handed: The amazing turnaround at Olise

He snatched a player from Liverpool FC twice in a row, now Chelsea FC got a basket themselves: The commitment of France’s U-21 international Michael Olise officially burst on Thursday – it seemed that his commitment was only a matter of time.

On Tuesday, the English media unanimously reported that Chelsea had activated the around 40 million euro release clause in Olises, which was valid until 2026 at Crystal Palace. But the turning point two days later: Palace boss Steve Parish personally reported on his social media channels that Olise had signed a contract – with Palace.

No U-21 player in Europe’s top division collected more assists in 2022/23

The 21-year-old winger is now tied until 2027, presumably he had the opt-out clause bought from him. “This is the best news we could have received,” said coach Roy Hodgson, thanking Parish and sporting director Dougie Freedman for the “fantastic work”. “I was worried – it’s always worrying when a club of Chelsea’s caliber show an interest in a player and there are people who say moving there would be the best solution.”

Olise came from Reading FC in 2021 as the best young player in the second division and caused a sensation last Premier League season with eleven assists – no U-21 player in Europe’s top leagues had more. The London native is currently recovering from a long-term hamstring injury sustained at the U-21 European Championship in the summer.

Hodgson relieved: “That would have changed my perception”

Now his trainer was also happy off the pitch. Hodgson, who surprisingly took over Palace last season at the age of 75 and led to the sovereign relegation, had given his commitment for another season in the summer, but had to cope with the departure of Wilfried Zaha (free transfer to Galatasaray) on his offensive. “I thought the squad looked very, very interesting and when the chairman asked me if I wanted to come back for another year that’s what I had in mind,” he said, admitting: “Losing a player like Wilfried Zaha and then Olise, that would have changed my perception.”

With his basket for Chelsea, Olise may have prevented any unrest about Hodgson. “It’s obviously a special day for me,” said the now 76-year-old with relief.


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