Ever since the arrival of big-spending Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich, Chelsea Football Club has seemingly adopted an insatiable lust for dipping into the transfer market.
A number of fresh big money signings such as Fernando Torres, David Luiz, Ramires and Juan Mata have all dominated the club’s starting XI; but the recent youth cohort may have skeptics trembling in their boots as Chelsea’s next generation of players are set to take the world by storm.
With the likes of Eden Hazard, Romelo Lukaku, Victor Moses and Oscar, all established younger players, it is clear the West Londoners are looking to youth to keep up with the ever increasing quality of the Premier League. Along with these well known youngsters, a number of relatively unknown players thriving in the background of Cobham Training Centre could potentially prove to be match winners for the Blues.
With Chelsea’s new found fondness for nurturing developing players, the loan scheme is doing wonders for the club and its members. Giving players time on the pitch and the space to experience different styles of football is pivotal for their development.
Three key players Rafael Benítez will certainly be keeping a watchful eye on include Thibaut Courtios, the Athletico Madrid shot stopper, Thorgan Hazard and Lucas Piazon. Firstly, Courtois. His quick reflexes and tall figure have cemented his position as their number one keeper for two years, in doing so helping them to secure a Europa League championship. Courtois has also established himself as Belgium’s number one choice between the sticks, joining a number of Chelsea players within the Belgium ranks. An additional loanee Chelsea fans hope to see in the starting line up in years to come is English wizard Josh McEachran, the 18 year old has been likened to Xavi and Andres Pirlo, and is in the midst of his second loan spell, this time at Middlesbrough. His devastating dribbles through centre of the pitch and quick footed passing have left him with a number of assists in the Championship.
With the end in sight for a large number of Chelsea's current squad, the club’s reserve and underage teams could receive potential call ups within the coming years.
Lucas Piazon transferred to Chelsea from Sao Paulo in 2011 and with 3 first team caps to his name at only 18, has been likened to Brazilian greats Kaka and Ronaldinho. His tight knit dribbling dazzles opposing defenders, while his defence-spitting passes have left him with many assists and goals for the reserve squad. With the inclusion of this future superstar into Chelsea’s European squad, Piazon could soon become the next household name.
Younger brother to Eden, Thorgan Hazard, has been also turning heads ever since his move to Chelsea from FC Lens. Hazard mesmerized onlookers in his reserve team debut as he delivered a sumptuous back heel assist only minutes in, with many realising a future star was in the making. Hazard was sent on loan to Belgium club S.V. Zulte Waregem, where he has continued his development.
Chelsea fans, while distraught of recent rumours of pivotal players departing the club, certainly have a great deal to look forward in the future.