One of the main talking points of Chelsea’s pre-season so far has been the performances of the youngsters in the Chelsea squad. Jose Mourinho has given them plenty of playing time, and their performances have certainly justified Mourinho’s selections.
The current crop of Chelsea youngsters are the most promising in a very long time. It appears that Mourinho is willing and ready to nurture many of them into top quality footballers. Mourinho has said that Lewis Baker, Izzy Brown and Dominic Solanke will all be training with the first team squad this season. He has even gone so far as to say, “blame me” if the young Englishmen don’t ever pull on an England shirt. He said:
“My conscience tells me that if, for example, [Lewis] Baker, [Izzy] Brown, and [Dominic] Solanke are not national team players in a few years, I should blame myself.
“They are part of a process the club started without me. In this moment, we have players who will be Chelsea players. And when they become Chelsea players, they will become England players, almost for sure.”
Jeremie Boga is probably the most promising of Chelsea’s youngsters. The young Frenchman, who joined Chelsea at U-12 level, is an attacking midfielder with pace and acceleration to burn, who will often pick up the ball from deep, almost acting as an unorthodox deep-lying playmaker.
In Chelsea’s 5-0 victory against Wycombe Wanders his introduction in the second-half brought with it a dictating of play on his part which changed the course of the match. In Chelsea’s 1-1 draw against RZ Pellets, he was the stand out player, and capped his performance with a fantastic solo goal.
There are also the likes of John Swift, Andreas Christensen, Patrick Bamford and Mitchell Beeney in this generation of Chelsea youngsters. Indeed Chelsea have a promising and exciting set of young footballers coming through. Some of the aforementioned players will probably be sent out on loan at some stage in the coming season, but the experience they gain will only be of benefit to the Blues.
Even if the players who remain at the club in the coming season don’t play regularly, which is likely, it seems that Mourinho is ready to give at least some of them proper first team experience, which will be invaluable to their development. Still, Mourinho is not exactly one to put a huge amount of faith in youth. Will Chelsea’s coming season be one for these youngsters? I, for one, doubt it.