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No ´gimmick´ Asian players for Chelsea: Kenyon

SoccerNews in English Premier League 29 Jul 2008

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Manchester United and other English clubs might have Asians in their squads but you won’t find one at Chelsea with chief executive Peter Kenyon ruling out “gimmick” players.

The Blues conclude their three-leg Asian pre-season tour on Tuesday and while Kenyon admits it is a huge market they are keen to tap, he is not interested in hiring players unless they are good enough.

And he doesn’t think any from Asia are.

“Our view is that the selection of our players is the ability to be in the Chelsea team,” he told AFP.

“We are not interested in gimmicks. We are not interested having say an American or an Asian in the team because it represents another revenue stream,” he said.

Asked if there was an Asian player who was good enough to make the 23-man squad, he replied: “I’m not sure there is one. This isn’t anti-Asian, but just the competitive nature of the game. We have 23 players and over last few years have seen the best from many countries and they’ve not been able to get in our team.”

Manchester United have South Korea’s Park Ji-Sung in their squad and he has repeatedly proved his worth. They also have Dong Fangzhou who has yet to make his mark but has helped raise the team’s profile in China.

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