TODD KANE has simple one-word advice for any Chelsea player getting loaned year after year … LEAVE.
The QPR ace was one of the brightest young English right-backs when he was 19.
But the Premier League giants squandered his talent by loaning him to EIGHT different clubs in seven years.
They rejected bids from other top-flight clubs as well as from Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Borussia Dortmund and Malaga.
And finally after escaping Chelsea’s clutches at the start of last season without making a single competitive appearance, Kane is picking up the pieces of his career at Loftus Road.
The Blues have 15 players loaned out and Kane is in no doubt what any young players at Chelsea should do if they find themselves are in the same position as he was.
He said: “Leave. I’ve had numerous bids from clubs coming in for me down the years but Chelsea would always just say ‘no’.
“I’d tell any young lad now to move on if anyone is interested in you because if you’re good enough to play for someone else, you’re better off taking that opportunity.
“When I was 19, I was rated as one of the best young right-backs in the country – and had I been at any other Premier League club back then I’d have been playing. Plenty of teams wanted to sign me.”
Chelsea loaned Kane to Preston, Blackburn, Bristol City, Nottingham Forest, Dutch sides Nijmegen and Groningen, Oxford and Hull.
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And Kane has had so many disappointments and regrets about how his career has panned out after so much promise.
He wishes he made his loan at then League One club Bristol permanent after they made a £1million bid for him instead of moving to Championship leaders Forest until the end of the season in 2015. He only made eight appearances.
The defender regrets playing in a dead-rubber last game of the season for Nijmegen five years ago – which saw him injure his ACL after Chelsea had told him he was part of their plans the following season.
He recalls sombrely: “The manager told me he was happy for me to miss that game but I insisted on playing. I wish I hadn’t.”
Then there were offers from Ajax, PSV, Borussia Dortmund and Malaga that were all rejected – even after his injury.
And, to rub salt into his wounds, Chelsea failed to sign the necessary paperwork in time for him to sign for Sheffield United – missing the January 2019 transfer deadline.
He said: “I was at Hull on loan and Chris Wilder had been talking to me on the phone about me going there.
“It had all been agreed but Chelsea submitted the paperwork too late because they were busy getting the Gonzalo Higuaín loan from Juventus across the line first.
“I’d have been part of the Sheffield United team that got promoted and could’ve been playing Premier League football there now.”
It is ironic that it was another piece of Chelsea incompetence that finally saw him escape.
Despite not having played for them in seven years, they wanted to activate the extension clause in his contract but MISSED the deadline.
Kane said: “They offered me another year but they were a few days too late under the terms of my contract – so I was able to leave.”
Kane is now in a happy place at another West London club – although it has not been plane sailing.
The right-back admits he did not feel wanted after being in and out of the team last season and at the start of this one.
But after meeting with boss Mark Warburton and director of football Les Ferdinand, he has since been an ever present which has coincided in an upturn in form for the Hoops.
Kane said: “Last season I missed a bit of pre-season which set me back and it was a bit up and down.
“I’d play five or six games and then would be out of the side with me and Angel Rangel being swapped.
“It was difficult for me to adapt because I’m someone who always plays 40 games a season and likes to kick on. If you’re happy on the bench then something is seriously wrong.
“I didn’t have the greatest season but it felt like there were things happening behind the scenes that were keeping me out.
“And I felt at the start of this season I got treated again like last year and was feeling unwanted.
“So I spoke to Les and the manager and told them my opinion. I said, ‘I’m here to play and if I can’t then I need to find somewhere else because I’m not the sort of player who wants to be sitting around on the bench.’
“I got my opportunity in the game against Cardiff and have been in the side since. I’m back to myself, the team is winning and playing well.
“It took this long to have a proper 15-game run where the club and the supporters can see the real player I am.”
Kane still believes he is good enough to play in the Premier League – and will keep working hard to achieve his goal.
He said: “I’ve had a hard route and a lot of disappointments but if I play well here then maybe I can still get to the level I feel I can reach.”
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