What’s Next For Chelsea’s Youngsters?


I’ve supported Chelsea a long time now (a bloody long time actually) but in all those years, I can’t ever remember there being so much excitement around our academy. Maybe because the club itself has never really invested quite the same in it as it does now but they definitely warrant the attention they’re getting lately.

Obviously, I’m writing this off the back of another FA Youth Cup win that sees them into a quarter final tie with Watford but irrespective of how far they progress (and there’s no reason to suspect they won’t retain it) our youth team is getting itself noticed.

We already know what Josh McEachran has to offer but Chalobah, Clifford, Kane and Aziz all impressed again against Barnsley – in fact they seem to be generating more excitement than our first team right now – and yet they still say we don’t take our academy players seriously.

Of course, I’ve always been one of the first to complain about our players being sent out on loan but that’s because there never seemed to be any real purpose of plan to it. We seemed to send them out all over the place and there was always that sort of hopelessly resigned acceptance that they might never return.

That doesn’t appear to be the case now and whilst everyone can throw the signings of Torres and Luiz at us as evidence that our youngsters will never get a look in if we’re still prepared to spend silly money, I disagree.

Every side needs the right mix and Chelsea can’t suddenly throw a load of young players into the first team overnight. Quite apart from anything else, the club needs to know they’re good enough and when you’re a side that needs to be challenging the likes of United for honours, ‘testing’ out young players isn’t a luxury you can afford on a regular basis.

So where’s the best place to test them out? The Premier League obviously – hence Sturridge and Kakuta’s recent loans to Premier League clubs. Makes complete sense to me. Here’s a couple of players earmarked to come into the first team and fill some pretty big boots, so they need regular first team football at the same level they’ll be expected to come back and play at rather than hanging around on benches, getting rusty while they wait for our ‘big’ players to sustain injuries.

And whilst you could argue our academy players don’t all go out to Premier League clubs, for those unlikely to be coming through in the immediate future, that’s not such a surprise either. These are pretty young lads – and let’s face it, Premier League first teams just aren’t full of 18 and 19 year olds. So moving from our academy to a League One side, for example, is hardly a step backwards it’s just part of the transition.

Of course, when it comes to McEachran, the preference would be to bring him through sooner rather than later. We’ve already seen him in the first team and given his age, probably looks a lot more comfortable than he should but again, if the alternative to a loan is sitting on the bench then we’ll do ourselves and him no favours by letting that happen.

3 Responses to “What’s Next For Chelsea’s Youngsters?”

  1. Yes, I’d agree that we have some exciting talent coming through but they won’t get on the field with Carlo in charge. He was the same at Milan

  2. I believe its not Carlos fault.. look at f.e man u`s lineup, how often do “sir” alex play with young/academy players? rafael, fabio, kind of smalling, City? Spuds?

    the thing is the quality of the players emerging. They arent just quite good enough to hold down a place. josh is different, and that has carlo said, so i have faith, Kakuta, Josh, Sturridge. maybee Lalkovic, Chalobah in a few years, it will happen

  3. I completely agrre I have to say. We all say if I were the man in charge, this would happen and this wil not. Thing is, with such exiting alents coming through, you can’t refuse the big opportunity a premiere league loan represents. As I said, commenting on Sturridge’s third goal for Bolton, this certainly is ht ebest thing Sturridge can hope for at the moment and it will serve both him and Chelsea more than the player might realize. Young Josh is another case. We simply cannot afford to loan him out as he will play more and more and, hopefully, he can be a regular member of the senior line-up within a couple of years. Meanwhile, it is simply useless to loan him out. Of course, a big loan to a club like everton for instance, would be a point to consider, as he could gain a massive, massive experience in no time. Maeachran has a bright future in front of him, if of course he does not sustain any major injury. Give him time to gain some strengh and experience, and we’ll have a cracking player to serve the club and reach our goals.