The Blues’ youth team won the FA Youth Cup last week, a trophy they have waited 49 years for and it appears that Roman Abramovich’s investment and Frank Arnesen’s work is finally starting to pay off.
Arnesen, Chelsea’s sporting director, understands that it is hard to bring through unproven youths at a cup with winning expectation.
The Dane said: “A club like Chelsea is all about winning. You can’t have young players in the team and not be winning, so it is not easy for the coach to bring players in.
“Carlo has a lot of experience in this. The moments you can bring them in and it doesn’t harm the results are the best for the young players.”
Who exactly are there promising youngsters at Chelsea and who are they expecting to make it?
Here are five players that could make it at the west London club:
Gael Kakuta – Probably Chelsea’s most famous young player after being embroiled in a transfer scandal which could have had the club banned from making transfers until 2011 when question marks were raised over his transfer from Lens (the club were cleared of any wrongdoing). The Frenchman is probably the most promising and talented youngster Chelsea have amongst their ranks. He has already made a his Premier League (against Wolves in November 2009) and Champions League (against APOEL in December) debuts. Chelsea were disappointing in the 2-2 draw against APOEL and Ancelotti stated that Kakuta was the only positive after the game.
“We had no intensity and no concentration, it was a very bad game from us. The only positive of the night was Gaël Kakuta. He played very well, he showed his fantastic talent. He trains very well everyday and will be the future of Chelsea,” said the Chelsea manager.
Miroslav Stoch – If you glance over BBC 606’s Chelsea board there is a fair chance you will come across threads about Stoch, or have him mentioned in threads regarding promising players. The Slovakian midfielder has had a successful time on loan at former England manager Steve McClaren’s FC Twente helping them win their first ever Eredivisie title, whilst scoring 12 goals in the process. Many fans believe he can potentially replace Joe Cole in a right midfield berth as he is pretty rapid, has goals in him and is confident at the moment.
Jeffrey Bruma – Chelsea’s youth cup victorious campaign was built around a solid defence and Bruma, the young Dutchman, was the most impressive player and has caught the eye of Ancelotti and has already made three first teams appearances this season.
The defender has lately been linked with a possible loan switch to Twente for a season like Stoch, only he will also get the benefit of Champions League experience at the Dutch club and Arnesen reportedly expects him to come back a first-team ready player. There has even been some calls for the defender to be called up for Bert van Marwijk’s Netherlands squad for the World Cup.
Nemanja Matic – The Serbian midfielder is seen by some as a natural successor to Michael Ballack, who is out of contract this summer. At 6ft 4in the 21-year-old certainly has a physical presence similar to the Germany captain, but he has had to wait patiently for his chance at Chelsea as he was injured upon arrival having picked up a knock in the Under-21 Championships for his country.
He has however made two Premier League appearances at Stamford Bridge this season. His first, the 4-0 win against Wolverhamton in November and his second was in the title-winning 8-0 mauling of Wigan (he came on for Ballack in that game incidently). The player has shown assured touches and is confident on the ball.
He said: “If you look at Josh McEachran, he put in a top performance tonight and I think he has done things today that the crowd would want to pay to see.”
McEachran was the England Under-16s captain and has attracted the attentions of Manchester United in the past.
These are just a number of players who could have a very bright future at the west London club and Ancelotti has many more he could call upon and hope they make the grade like Patrick van Aanholt, Fabio Borini and youth captain Conor Clifford.
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