To finish the flurry of articles related to the transfer ban for Chelsea I pose the question: Is Kakuta really worth all this heartache for Chelsea?
This is going to be a tricky question because of his age and what his highlight reels show.
He is a mere 18 years old and has pace that is in the class of only a dozen or so other players in the world.
In addition to this wonderful pace, he is masterful at dribbling and shedding defenders, something that even the rising star of Arsenal (Theo Walcott) cannot yet claim to do.
But is football not filled with stories of unfufilled promise and talent gone to waste? How many players were in his position before without all of this transfer drama, in addition to the usual pressure of being a professional footballer?
Currently, Kakuta is recovering from a long-term injury and should be healthy by the time his four month ban is up; and considering the fact that many players will be heading off to the Africa Cup of Nations, he might get some meaningful playing time.
Can he take the pressure though?
Before it was just his team and his opponents for the day watching, but now he has the whole of the football world glued to his development, and rightfully so, he could be costing Chelsea an untold amount of grief in the coming seasons by missing out on transfers.
His talent on the pitch is undeniable, but are his heart and head in the right place?
As an American, I get to see high draft picks (yes, here in America we draft young players to ensure a more level playing field, but then again, it is just one nation) become busts all the time. My favorite sports team currently has a former number one overall pick as our third string quarterback in Joey Harrington.
Kakuta will face even more pressure and scrutiny when he debuts with the Chelsea first-teamers who are already reaching the down slope of their careers, and hungry for titles that may be cut off to them, because of the inability to buy and change the team over the next two transfer windows.
However, should he continue to develop at his current pace and slot with other promising youngsters like Franco Di Santo, Daniel Sturridge, and Miroslav Stoch, than perhaps Kakuta might be worth all this trouble.
If you asked Sir Alex Ferguson if he would give up the same amount of transfer windows for another Ronaldo, what are the chances he would pass up the deal?
Gael Kakuta shows that level of promise and ability at a mere 18. His talent with the ball almost demands that he run isolations in the manner that Arjen Robben once commanded, but with a significantly more built frame for breaking through defenders when not dribbling through them.
If he can develop into the player that he seems to be becoming, then the answer is undoubtedly yes. But only time will tell if Kakuta is truly worth the agony that Chelsea and its fans are currently going through.
I for one, will be along for the ride.
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