In recent times Chelsea’s youth policy has not exactly prospered. Club captain John Terry was the last successful product of the system, a player who made his first team debut in 1998. Indeed, various reasons could be attributed to the blues failure to bring another player through in the last 13 years.
The period in which Chelsea have not managed to bring another player through coincides with the most successful period in their history. The quality of player at Stamford Bridge now marks them out as one of the premier clubs in European football, with almost all of the first team squad current senior internationals.
Arguably more than at any other point in their history it is harder for a youth team player to work his way into the first team. Looking at the prospects waiting in the wings, one might argue that in a previous era, even John Terry’s era, they would have broken into the first team by now. The current top prospect at Chelsea is Josh McEachran, a player that has received a lot of press attention in recent months, however Chelsea’s academy includes more than a few others who will back themselves to break into the Chelsea side in the next few years. Today we take a look at 3 of the most talented.
One of those players is Ryan Bertrand, a talented left back with the unenviable task of trying to displace one of the world’s best in his position, the ever reliable Ashley Cole. Bertrand has already clocked up over 150 appearances in the football league for Bournemouth, Oldham, Norwich, Reading and Nottingham Forest as well as picking up 16 caps for the England under 21s.
Bertrand has impressed in his 3 appearances for Chelsea thus far and Andre Villas-Boas wants to keep the left back at the club as opposed to another loan move. It remains to be seen whether Ashley Cole will be rested for certain games as the season progresses, but it is certain that if Bertrand is given the chance he is more than capable of performing at the very top level for Chelsea.
Another player that Chelsea currently have high hopes for is 19 year old Dutch international Jeffrey Bruma. Bruma made his first team debut as a 17 year old under previous manager Carlo Ancelotti and the centre back currently has 9 first team appearances to his name. As well as this the hot prospect has made 3 appearances for last year’s losing World Cup finalists The Netherlands, an indication of how highly he is thought of.
The current Chelsea side has four experienced international centre backs and thus the decision was taken to send Bruma out on loan to Hamburg for first team experience, so far this season amassing 7 first team appearances. The future looks bright for the young Dutchman with international caps already under his belt, if given the chance at Stamford Bridge Bruma could be the man to end Chelsea’s wait for an academy product.
Lastly, a player that, while maybe not set to make an immediate impact, is being talked about as a future star at the club, Nathaniel Chalobah. The tall 16 year old is already a regular in the Chelsea reserves, an exceptionally rare feat for a schoolboy. In fact, Chalobah is used to being ahead of schedule, having made his England under 17 debut at 14 he recently made his under 19 debut.
A key figure in the reserves, it may be early in his development but it would come as no surprise to anyone at Chelsea if Chalobah is a future Chelsea regular.
Do you think Chelsea will bring a player through to the first team in the near future? Comment or message me on Twitter @CamHumphries
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