Chelsea are often lambasted for utilising an unorthodox youth policy which involves shipping numerous youngsters out on loan instead of developing them in-house at the club’s cutting edge training facilities.
The Stamford Bridge faithful are likely to be seriously concerned that only two players across three junior squads have been promoted to the Blues’ senior squad in recent years – Bertrand Traore and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
With so many highly rated youngsters within their ranks, Chelsea must adopt a more open attitude towards giving young players experience at the highest level. Here are six Blues youngsters who are worthy of a chance in the senior team next season.
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Having made a modest 12 appearances in all competitions and spent two seasons on loan since joining the Chelsea youth ranks in 2011, Ake is due for a chance in the senior team.
The 21-year-old Dutchman has been one of the most consistent players at Watford this season, providing a solid and reliable presence on the left of the Rams’ back four.
Ake has done more than enough throughout his second spell away from Stamford Bridge to warrant a place in Antonio Conte’s first-team plans next term – even if it is as part of a rotation policy with Cesar Azpilicueta and Baba Rahman.
While it is unlikely Abraham will be thrown into deep end with the senior team on a regular basis, he is certainly a viable cameo option in cup games or even less significant league clashes.
The 18-year-old racked up a staggering 41-goal haul for the Blues’ three development teams throughout the 2014-15 season, including five in 11 appearances for the Under-21 side.
A tall and imposing yet mobile forward, the England Under-19 international will surely break into the Chelsea first team if he keeps up his formidable scoring record.
Irrespective of reports claiming he demands £50,000-a-week to commit his long-term future to Chelsea, Solanke might have pushed himself into the first team picture with seven goals and a series of impressive performances while on loan at Vitesse.
The 18-year-old, who has represented England up to under-21 level, already has a senior Chelsea appearance to his name having coming on as a late substitute during a 6-0 win over Maribor in October 2014.
Now with a full season of regular football behind him – and a respectable goal tally to back it up – Solanke is on course to be granted at least a handful of opportunities next season.
It is difficult to fathom how a player who has made just three senior appearances for Chelsea over two years can go on loan and become a crucial figure in a top-four Bundesliga team.
Christensen has formed a sterling partnership with Harvard Nordtveit in the heart of Borussia Monchengladbach’s back four and presents a strong case to crack the Blues’ first team upon his return to Stamford Bridge next season.
However, reports suggest there is a genuine chance the Denmark international may force his parent club to allow him to join the German side on a permanent basis unless he sees regular top-flight action in the near future.
Aina has played a crucial role in the Blues’ consecutive UEFA Youth League triumphs over the past two campaigns.
The athletic 19-year-old has all the makings of modern fullback – he is equally as threatening bombing forward as he is solid in defence.
Aina is yet to earn his senior Chelsea debut, but he has come close. Jose Mourinho once suggested he would be open to fielding the defender if the opportunity arose; and coming from a manager not renowned for developing youngsters, that is high praise indeed.
As reflected by their tenth-place position in the Eredivisie table, Vitesse haven’t enjoyed the best of seasons. However, they’ve helped remind Chelsea they boast one of the brightest young talents in England.
Baker has featured in all but three of the Blues feeder club’s 33 league fixtures to date, while registering five goals and four assists in an impressive campaign.
Competition for first-team football is rife in the Chelsea midfield, but with three loan spells already under his belt, the 21-year-old is worthy of a shot at the highest level.
Which Chelsea youngster do you want to see in the first team next season? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!
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