‘Whisper’ to make Chelsea debut soon, predicts Butler
Craig Butler, the manager of young Jamaican football prodigy Dujuan “Whisper” Richards, is confident the player could make his English Premier League debut for Chelsea FC in January.
Richards, who recently turned 18, left the island earlier this week for the London-based club. Butler said he is training alongside first-team players, including notable figures such as Jamaican-born English winger Raheem Sterling and former Brazilian Captain Thiago Silva.
Richards, a national senior player and former schoolboy standout at Kingston College (KC), signed a pre-contract with Chelsea earlier this year.
“He is doing well at the moment because he is training with the first team,” Butler, the president of Phoenix Academy, said.
“He has met with [Chelsea manager] Mauricio Pochettino, and Pochettino is working with him.”
Butler said the move to Chelsea has brought about positive changes for Richards, allowing him to focus solely on football without distractions that surrounded him previously.
“He is doing well because he is very happy and he is free now. He is free from the chaos that was surrounding him out here [in Jamaica], and he is able to now just focus on his football and what he needs to do,” he said.
Butler’s ambitious goal for Richards is crystal clear â€” to see him excel in Chelsea’s first team and make a significant impact.
He said Jamaican-born Aston Villa player Leon Bailey, who also came through Phoenix Academy, is someone Richards should try to emulate.
“My goal for him is to execute in the first team and just deliver, and I am sure that he will. I am sure that he will be a part of the team come January because he is that good, and I just want him to continue and follow in the veins of Leon Bailey and take it to the next level.”
Butler highlighted the meticulous planning that went into Richards’ development, with focus not only on his natural strength and ability, but also honing various aspects of his game.
“We have worked hard to develop him, and he has natural strength and ability, but we also worked very hard to increase his skill sets and also his finishing and his ability to use both feet and his mentality on the pitch, and I believe that he has enough to go all the way.”
As Richards kicks off his promising journey with Chelsea, many eagerly anticipate the emergence of another Jamaican talent at the highest level of club football.
Richards, who hails from Port Royal in Kingston, has donned the Jamaican jersey on 10 occasions and has found the back of the net once.
During the 2022 Manning Cup season, Richards delivered a remarkable 31 goals and 19 assists for KC, underlining his immense talent and potential.