After winning both the FA Cup and League at youth level, it begs the question “when will Chelsea give youth a chance?” The club isn’t known for producing too many talents but it has produced a few notable players. John Terry is an example of such players but he is really the most high profiled excluding club legends like Bobby Tambling, Peter Osgood, Jimmy Greaves and Ray Wilkins to name a few.
Players like Carlton Cole, Mikael Forssell, Robert Huth also came from the academy ranks as well but haven’t exactly had quite the career we would have expected them to.
A newer generation of academy graduates we have had like Miroslav Stoch who is in Fenerbahçenow on loan to Al Ain, Gökhan Töre who is at Rubin Kazan and is currently on loan to Beşiktaş, Jeffery Bruma who after a couple of loan spells has permanently joined PSV, Ben Sahar is at Hertha Berlin in Germany and spent his season on loan to Arminia Bielefeld and most notably, Fabio Borini who was at Roma then Liverpool and finally on loan at Sunderland.
Point is we haven’t exactly had what we would call players who would be in the club and play at such high levels, players like Josh McEachran, Nathaniel Chalobah and Patrick van Aanholt are always on loan and the desire to see them in a Chelsea first team more often is usually replaced by the bringing of more youthful players. Nathan Aké was bought in 2011, Lucas Piazon in 2012 and most infamous, Gaël Kakuta, whose transfer handed us a transfer embargo that was later taken off. Kakuta is currently 23 and he has no landmark in the Chelsea first team.
Most recently we have players like Romelu Lukaku, Marco van Ginkel and the world class Thibaut Courtois who we bought not long after at the time, the highly rated Croat keeper, Matej Delač. Kevin De Bryune was deemed surplus to requirements just 2 years after being transferred from Genk, not making up to 10 league appearances for the club but seems to be good enough to play in the starting line-up for Belgium at the World Cup. It gets funnier thinking about it that De Bryune was sold and Nemanja Matić was who we acquired in the same summer, returning to the club for a second time since we initially bought him 2009 for £1.5m sold him in exchange for David Luiz and now for £21m he’s back in the club.
Personally, I have stopped reasoning with our deals for players under the age of 22 except he is bought for over £25m like Eden Hazard and I wonder what would become of his brother, Thorgan, at the club. Tomáš Kalas undoubtedly had a great game in that 2-0 win over Liverpool that very well dented their title hopes and is on loan to Germany’s 1. FC Köln while highly rated Kurt Zouma has already been acquired by the club as Kenneth Omeruo who had a decent World Cup in Brazil prepares to be loaned again, all playing the same position.
Ryan Bertrand seemed to be where we got it right after his Champions League debut in that famous win against Bayern at Bayern but he seems to be out of it as we loaned him to Aston Villa leaving César Azpilicueta to play in left back who is usually a Right Back.
The likes of Spanish centre midfielder, Oriol Romeu, Brazilian wing back, Wallace and former highly rated Mexican attacking midfielder, Ulises Dávila are still constantly on loan and seem to have no future at the club. I have no idea how the club see the youth system, currently with players like Islam Feruz, Jeremie Boga and Billy Clifford I doubt they will ever break into the first team after we just said goodbye to Milan Markovic releasing him on a free.
Of recent we’ve signed Croatian, Mario Pašalić, who plays in centre midfield. Who knows maybe we would sell him for £1m and buy him £21m too?