This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Finally, the fruits of Chelsea’s youth academy labour are beginning to show.
Already this season, seven players who have played for their development squads have featured for the Blues.
Who has been the most improved player in the EPL this season? Find out in the video below…
Now, their recent form has been recognised by England manager Gareth Southgate.
On Thursday, the Three Lions boss revealed his squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers. Four of Frank Lampard’s team were included, which was more than any other side. Three of them have been with the club since before the age of 10.
Abraham, Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Ross Barkley were those chosen, and they aren’t the only players who are likely to feature for England in the future.
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have both pulled on their national team’s jersey in the past, whilst Reece James played in the Champions League this week too.
From an England perspective, the next step is winning an international trophy.
After making back-to-back semi-finals, in last year’s World Cup and this year’s UEFA Nations League, there is a feeling that they can do just that and Chelsea can be the side to give them that boost.
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In three of the last four World Cups, the tournament has been won by teams featuring at least five footballers from one side.
In 2006, Italy had five players in the starting line-up from Juventus (plus Alessandro Del Piero who came on from the bench) in the final against France.
Four years later, Spain had seven from Barcelona in the showpiece against the Netherlands. And then in 2014, Bayern Munich provided Germany with seven starters in the last match of the tournament against Argentina.
France’s victory last year – ironically, Chelsea led the way with two players in Les Blues’ starting XI.
Generally, having a strong nucleus of players from the same club side can help push a national selection to victory, especially if that team is towards the top of the table in their respective country.
It is so hard for a manager to truly implement tactics at international level considering the little time he is able to spend with his players.
When a lot of the players come from the same side, they already have a strong connection and know how each other plays. This means that the boss only needs to bring in a few faces to fill up the starting XI.
In England currently, Chelsea are in the best position to do that.
With those names mentioned beforehand, there is a real possibility that the Blues could line-up with seven English players in their side at some point this season, which you would have thought was impossible a few years ago.
This is something Southgate can use to his advantage. By building a team around Lampard’s players, he will be giving England a better chance of winning the biggest competitions, as history tells us.
To increase that possibility even further, he should test this theory as soon as possible against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.