In 2007, Chelsea's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich first arrived at Stamford Bridge and decided to invest a huge share of his millions towards creating Chelsea's new £20m training complex, Cobham.

This showed a statement of intent for the long-term health of the club and changed the thoughts of some critics who assumed this would be another rich businessman taking over a club which he knows nothing about, playing a sport he knows nothing about. 

Throughout a managerial crisis and the highs and lows of the west London outfit, the youth academy has been making large productive strides in trying to piece together a competitive young squad.

The success in doing so has resulted in Chelsea reaching the final of last season's NextGen Champions League competition, in a run-in where they defeated the likes of Barcelona's La Masia, and Arsenal's highly-rated youth team, respectively.

The team have also performed admirably in the FA Youth Cup, reaching the final of last season's competition, only to fall at the final hurdle to Norwich City.

Last season Rafael Benitez successfully called in Nathan Ake from the youth squad - a promising 18-year-old Dutch under-19 international.

This showed that some parts of the academy are ready to step up into the first-team. Meanwhile another Chelsea prospect, Nathaniel Chalobah - also 18, made a huge impact for Watford as he helped the Championship side reach the play-off final, only to be beaten by Crystal Palace in the play-off final.

Chalobah also picked up the award for the best English Youth player, which further underlined the talent of the combative midfielder, who can also operate as a centre-back.

Josh McEachran is another prospect from the academy, initially brought into the first-team by Carlo Ancelotti.

The English midfielder's stalled somewhat after the departure of the Italian tactician, however he will be looking to capitalise on the arrival of Jose Mourinho and the Portuguese's intent to bring in some youngsters.

These promising academy prospects mixed with the young exciting talent the Blues already possess, in the shapes of Oscar (21), Eden Hazard (22), Andre Schurrle (22), Kevin de Bruyne (22), and Romelu Lukaku (20) to name a few.

This is something Chelsea fans should be watching closely and monitoring as Mourinho's reign continues at Stamford Bridge.


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