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5 Chelsea academy graduates who flourished elsewhere

Andy King is one of several Chelsea academy graduates who found success away from Stamford Bridge.
Andy King is one of several Chelsea academy graduates who found success away from Stamford Bridge.
ANALYST
Modified 17 Dec 2020, 16:27 IST
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Chelsea have one of the finest academies in England, with the club's youth teams dominating competitions at home and in Europe.

The club's academy players have lifted seven of the last ten FA Youth Cups and have won the UEFA Youth League twice in as many seasons.

Over the years, the Chelsea academy has produced a plethora of fine graduates who have gone on to serve the club with distinction. John Terry, Graeme Le Saux and Robert Huth are some of the most prominent names in this regard.

Five Chelsea academy players who made their names away from Stamford Bridge

Unsurprisingly, Chelsea's academy grew in stature after the takeover of the club by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich in the early 2000s. However, despite the quality of graduates produced by the academy, most have struggled to make the transition to the Chelsea first team due to a bevy of reasons.

Even though as many as 11 Chelsea academy players - a number that was unusually high as the club was hindered with a two-transfer window ban - made the club's first team in various competitions last season, that has been an aberration rather than the rule.

Over the years, many fine Chelsea academy players have been sent out on loan before being sold to other clubs where they found success.

On that note, let us have a look at five such Chelsea academy players, in no particular order, who made their names away from Stamford Bridge.


#5 Andy King

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Andy King
Andy King

It may come as a surprise to many that Andy King - a player almost synonymous with Leicester City - joined the Chelsea academy as a nine-year-old before being released by the Blues six years later.

Climbing through the ranks at Leicester City, the midfielder made his debut for the club in 2007-08. During 375 appearances for the club in various competitions across three different divisions, King scored 61 goals and assisted 24 others.

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After helping the club gain promotion from League One and the Championship, King helped the Foxes to an improbable Premier League triumph in 2015-16. The Welshman is currently on loan at Huddersfield Town.


#4 Nathan Ake

Nathan Ake
Nathan Ake

After graduating from Chelsea's academy in 2011, the then 16-year-old Nathan Ake played only a handful of games - 17 - across two stints with the Blues before making his name as a combative goal-scoring centre-back at Bournemouth.

The Netherlands international missed only nine league games (all during the 2019-20 season), scoring eight goals and assisting six others before moving to Manchester City this summer.

In a later interview, the former Chelsea academy player bemoaned his lack of enough game-time at the club, saying in this regard:

"I went back and was hoping to be playing for Chelsea, but in the end I still came back here. You always want to play more, but I know it's difficult to get into the Chelsea team. They have such a good team with many great, world-class players. I knew it was going to be difficult. I thought I did okay in the games I played and felt like I grew training around those players."
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Published 17 Dec 2020, 16:27 IST
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