Chelsea Get First Big Rejection - And Michael Olise's Stance Is Refreshing

Olise signed a new deal at Crystal Palace
09:00, 20 Aug 2023

Todd Boehly has been acting like a kid in a candy shop since buying Chelsea. £100m spent here. £50m spent there. This summer he’s taken things to a whole new level, as player after player bought into his project at Stamford Bridge. 

Chelsea looked to be able to sign whoever they damn pleased. £115m was enough to convince Brighton & Hove Albion to sell Moises Caicedo, and despite major interest from Liverpool, the player chose to join Mauricio Pochettino and Chelsea. Romeo Lavia was in the same boat. Despite Liverpool’s desire to make him a Red, he chose to battle for his place in the capital. 

At the drop of a hat, it feels like Boehly could make any player he desired join Chelsea. Their pulling power has arguably never been this high, which is quite remarkable given that they amassed just 44 points last season and have no European football to offer their new signings. 


When they approached Michael Olise, the Crystal Palace winger with a £35m release clause in his contract, everybody prepared themselves for another signing. But this time, Boehly’s advances were rejected. The 21-year-old signed a bumper new four-year deal at Palace, and Chelsea were left to lick their wounds. Rejection isn’t a feeling they’ve been used to over the past few years. But here it was. Blatant and cold, they’d been turned down. 

It was a refreshing moment of clarity for the footballing world, not just Palace themselves. Money can buy you a lot of things, especially in this sport, so it felt like somewhat of a jolt to the system that Olise had turned down Chelsea’s approach. It’s not only brilliant news for his club, who have kept hold of a key asset and removed that release clause from his old contract, but for the player’s development.


Olise will be given a starring role under Roy Hodgson this season and as much game time as he can handle. He’s still only 21, and needs to be playing regular football to fulfil his massive potential, something that simply wasn’t going to happen at Chelsea. The Blues have signed so many players that competition is extremely high for places, especially on that right wing, where Raheem Sterling and Noni Madueke are already in situ.

Getting to a big club like Chelsea can often feel like the end goal for young players. But rushing there can be detrimental to their careers. Olise is likely to play for one of the giants of the Premier League one day, but he can’t afford to waste his developing years on the bench. He’s got a long career ahead of him and will likely make it to the very top, after he has shown his talent south of the river for another couple of years. 

When he’s done that, he is likely to have broken into the England squad. If he can make his mark on the international stage there will be a whole host of suitors vying for his signature, not just Chelsea. He’ll not only make Crystal Palace a lot more money than they were going to make this summer, but earn himself a bigger wage when he makes the move.

Boehly’s master-plan is to tie promising young players down on eight- or nine-year deals and, in theory, the wages they are on at that time will be relatively low, comparative to other Premier League teams. The initial outlay is large, but they should be able to recoup some of the investment when it comes to selling some of these young stars in the future. 

But Olise has chosen not to simply be a commodity. He’s chosen to be loved at Selhurst Park, at least for a couple more seasons. He’s destined for the top, but his patience and rebuttal of Chelsea’s advances is truly refreshing. 

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