Chelsea have announced the arrival of Joe Shields to their revamped recruitment team.
The Blues have been busy restructuring behind the scenes following Todd Boehly’s takeover, making a number of marquee appointments in recent weeks.
And their latest arrival is Shields from Southampton, who only joined the Saints three months ago from Manchester City,
“Chelsea FC have appointed Joe Shields as Co-Director of Recruitment and Talent,” the club said in a statement.
“Shields joins from Southampton, where he is Head of Senior Recruitment. Shields is responsible for the Saints’ senior recruitment. Prior to his role with Southampton, Shields spent nine years at Manchester City, initially as Academy Scouting Manager and then becoming Head of Academy Recruitment and Talent Management. Earlier in his career he acted as an academy scout at Crystal Palace and Fulham.
“Shields will start his new role when his obligations with Southampton are complete.
Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly and co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali said: “Joe is another great addition to Chelsea, and we’re thrilled to have him on board. We have a clear plan and will adopt a modern and data-driven philosophy, focused on elite emerging talent.
“We’re assembling a deep and collaborative management team who are eager to build a continued sustained winner at Chelsea. Joe has a great track record and understanding of the game and emerging talent. We know we have another strong leader and a team player who will help us continue to build our world-class football organisation.”
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Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl confirmed Shields’ imminent departure a couple of weeks ago, insisting it was better for him to leave if he really wanted to and that his impact was not a particularly meaningful one in his brief time at St Mary’s.
“As clear as I can do it – he came in August and is leaving in October,” Hasenhuttl said. “For us, it’s not the perfect situation. I don’t know, sometimes people get driven by new chances and we see this a lot here with a long-term project. If he wants to leave in the short-term maybe he has his reasons.
“It’s not a big loss for this club because the impact he had in the six weeks was not the biggest.
“We are not in the situation where we now fall into depression. He came in August when a lot of transfers had been done and he was not the person that brought Romeo Lavia in for example or someone like this. We’d like to have people here for longer but it’s better for him to leave immediately.”