Charly Musonda has often believed himself ready for Chelsea. Given another opportunity, all he is doing is proving Antonio Conte right.
Charly Musonda has plenty of quality and knows it. It is why he asked to go on loan back in 2016. That loan, to Real Betis, started well. But the new season resulted in little playing time for the Belgian. Injury saw him return to Chelsea.
After he finally recovered, Antonio Conte brought him into the first team set up. Minutes were rare but that was to be expected. Musonda eventually got his Chelsea debut and did well.
Then, after not playing in a match he was universally believed to be set for, Musonda made an ill advised social media post. That was the day he effectively closed the door on his chances under Conte. He played only 91 minutes over three matches until he left on loan.
Sent to Brendan Rodgers Celtic, it was assumed he would have an easy time finding minutes. Afterall, Celtic basically had the title wrapped up. And with a longer loan, the incentive to play Musonda was there. But most of all, Musonda should be starting at a team like Celtic. Many balked at the “low level” of the loan. And if Musonda is as good as advertised, then minutes at Celtic should be guaranteed.
At first, they were. After a brief bedding in period, he became a starter. That was short lived. Musonda has had three starts out of ten possible starts. He has only finished the 90 twice. Every other match he played in, he was subbed off before the 75th minute. He has completely sat out the last three league matches.
That simply does not mesh with the player Musonda is hyped up to be. Nor does it go along with his outburst from earlier in the season. The fact of the matter is that he is proving Antonio Conte right. Musonda is not ready for the English Premier League because he does not appear ready for the Scottish Premier League.
Time may prove that wrong, Musonda is on loan through the end of next season in a similar 18 month deal as his one at Real Betis. At Betis, he started the first six months well before falling in the next. This loan could be the opposite.
But regardless, this situation should not even be a thing. Musonda has been hyped for years and years as one of, if not the best academy players. He had the drive to say he was ready for professional minutes. But he needs to show it.
When Musonda returns to Chelsea, he will nearly be 23. At that point, he is either ready for Chelsea or gets one last year long loan to make his way in. But based on the evidence of his career so far, he will not make it. The only consistent period he has had has been that six month spell at Betis.
Musonda will need to make his way into this Celtic squad quickly. Especially since they have basically won everything available to them already. Because right now, only Conte is being proven right for not playing him.