While Chelsea have been one of the most successful clubs in Europe over the last decade, their record of producing local talent is dismal. That could all change thanks to Dominic Solanke.
While Chelsea have produced England legend John Terry, since the arrival of Roman Abramovich youth players have been shoved aside in favour of super star signings.
However, with the Premier League's homegrown rules, coupled with Uefa's Financial Fair Play, attentions in west London have turned towards the academy. Luckily for Jose Mourinho, one of England's brightest stars is located at the famous Cobham training centre.
Diego Costa may have lit up the Premier League since his arrival at Stamford Bridge in the summer, but the £32 million man better be watching his back. Solanke, 17, is developing rapidly at youth level.
"My conscience tells me that if, for example, Baker, Brown, and Solanke are not national team players in a few years, I should blame myself" - Jose Mourinho
While Patrick Bamford and Islam Feruz have been tipped to break into Chelsea's first team in the near future, Solanke's form has forced him up the pecking order despite his tender years.
The striker's goals inspired Chelsea to an FA Youth Cup triumph last season and also helped England Under-17s win the European Championships over the summer. Having returned from a well earned break, Mourinho is now regularly inviting the striker to train with the first team.
He scored 20 goals for the Under-18s last season despite competing against defenders two years old than him. That convinced Mourinho to take the youngster on Chelsea's pre-season tour.
"My conscience tells me that if, for example, [Lewis] Baker, [Izzy] Brown, and Solanke are not national team players in a few years, I should blame myself," Mourinho said in the summer.
The Special One clearly believes that Solanke is a special striker. Mourinho awarded him a three-year professional contract on his 17th birthday. Expect him to enjoy loan spells away from Stamford Bridge before featuring for the first team, but all the signs point towards another potential legend emerging from the academy.
Age: 17 (Date of Birth: 14 September 1997)
Joined Chelsea: 2004
Twitter followers: 13.5K
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