When Will Chelsea Give Their Youth A Chance?

When Will Chelsea Give Their Youth A Chance?
Jun 26, 2017

Chelsea Featured

John Terry’s departure from Chelsea marks the end of an era for the club. For the past decade or so, the former Blues captain has taken the West London outfit to unprecedented heights with his exceptional leadership skills and defensive abilities.

A Chelsea boy through and through, Terry broke through the youth ranks after joining aged 14 and made his first team debut in 1998. He is one of the very few players to successfully break through the Chelsea youth academy and cement his place in the first eleven.

However, the possibility of Chelsea producing a player through their youth system, capable of replicating John Terry’s success, looks extremely bleak. But it’s definitely not down to a lack of quality. The Chelsea youth academy is one of the finest in the country, generating some of the brightest young talents, year in, year out. The club has dominated the U-18 Premier League for the past 5 years.

A few of these young stars have been promoted to the first team. Reuben Loftus-Cheek, Nathaniel Chalobah and Nathan Aké did manage to get some game time under Antonio Conte, but none of them has managed to find a permanent birth in the starting eleven. And as new recruits begin to come in during the summer, it seems increasingly unlikely that these youngsters will get a chance to get regular game time.

The Increasing List Of Chelsea Loanees

Chelsea’s infamous loan system needs absolutely no introduction. The club currently has around 35 players out on loan at different clubs around the continent. A majority of them probably won’t get to don a Chelsea shirt again.

Bertrand Traoré, a Chelsea loanee who currently plies his trade at Ajax, has hit out at the lack of opportunities given to youngsters at Chelsea. The youngster made an impressive start to his Chelsea career during the 2016/2017 season but was later loaned out to Ajax the next season. Traoré clearly doesn’t fancy his chances anymore at Chelsea, as he’s expected to complete a move to Lyon in the coming days, and he isn’t the only loanee feeling neglected by the West London club at the moment.

The future of Nathan Aké, who was recalled from his excellent spell at Bournemouth by Antonio Conte, looks in doubt. With rumours Chelsea will sign another defender, possibly Virgil van Dijk, reports suggest the Dutchman will re-join Bournemouth but on a permanent deal.

However, there is hope for a select few. 19-year-old Tammy Abraham looks like a worthy prospect to lead the line for Chelsea in the near future. Defender Andreas Christensen will return to Stamford Bridge after spending two years in Germany. The Danish Center back could serve as a possible replacement for the former captain, John Terry.

It is quite evident that there is something seriously wrong with the Chelsea youth system. With such talented players at their disposal, it would be a shame for the club to let them go to waste. With Antonio Conte in charge, a huge financial power, a new Nike sponsorship deal alongside just being crowned Champions, there’s little reason for Conte not to give the youth a chance, something José Mourinho was previously heavily criticised for. Buying or breeding the countries best youngsters and loaning them out, just so someone else can’t have them, is something that needs to be prevented at Chelsea.

At this moment in time, you’d have to wonder why any sane youth prospect, alongside his parents or agents guidance, would choose Chelsea over Southampton. Money may be one factor, given the travel cost on occasions, but for development, both education wise and as a player with a chance of senior football, Southampton perhaps would be a better choice.

One only hopes that Antonio Conte gives these youth players a chance to prove themselves in the coming seasons. But with the Italian desperate to bolster his squad with foreign recruits, the chances of another John Terry breaking through the youth ranks seems as small as ever.

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