Chelsea have rewarded Guus Hiddink with a permanent role at the club despite appointing Antonio Conte as their new manager from next season. The Dutchman will remain as a consultant to improve the pathway from the club's academy to the first team.
Among the key features of Hiddink's second interim spell in charge of the Blues was the entrusting of many of the club's young players. Jake Clarke-Salter, Ola Aina, Tammy Abraham, Bertrand Traore, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kasey Palmer were all handed first team opportunities after impressing in the youth team.
Victory in the Uefa Youth League for a second year in succession and a third successful FA Youth Cup campaign has worked to highlight both the resources available to Chelsea and their failure to promote on the regular basis. Hiddink will be employed to improve relations and aims to repeat the success he achieved as manager.
"You often see that the young players are not always easy to link up with the first team," Hiddink, who suffered defeat just six times in his 27 games in charge of Chelsea, told Fox Sports. "You have to use them through sparingly, otherwise they can end up burnt out. I already did that with Bertrand Traore and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, but it needs to happen more often."
Among Hiddink's plans in his consultancy role, which is yet to be confirmed by Chelsea ahead of the arrival of Conte this summer, is to recruit a number of former players to chief scouting roles. The 69-year-old attempted to bring Didier Drogba back to the club during his spell at the helm but the Ivorian could yet play a role as he moves behind the scenes.
"They have had a great impact here," he added when asked about potentially bringing back Chelsea icons Drogba and Petr Cech. "Once they are really finished with their playing careers, they can be of great value to the club, as an assistant or scout."