5 things that come to mind when you think of Chelsea
Chelsea Football Club has grown rapidly over the last few years into one of the best and most successful clubs in England. In spite of being based in London, the club has a massive overseas fanbase thanks to the Premier League's expansion into one of the most-watched sports competitions in the world.
The club was established in 1905 and enjoyed almost a century of mediocrity with short spells of success in the early 1950s and late 1960s. This would all change in 2003 when Chelsea was sold by Ken Bates to Roman Abramovich. Since then, the club has won 16 major trophies, including 5 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups and the Champions League.
Unfortunately, success comes with a price, and in recent years the club has had no end of hatred directed its way by football fans. The club has repeatedly come first in polls of the most hated club in England and has had several stereotypes levelled against them.
It doesn't help that the likes of Jose Mourinho, John Terry and Diego Costa have played such large roles in the club's ascension, with each of three being portrayed as pantomime villains in the media at one point or the other.
However, there are also some good qualities about Chelsea that have surfaced since Abramovich's takeover, namely their never-say-die attitude and in recent years, some scintillating football. The following is a list of things that come to mind when the average person thinks of Chelsea Football Club.
#5 Youth Academy
Chelsea has invested heavily in youth over the last decade, building a successful youth academy that has won the FA Youth Cup six times since 2010. However, the academy has divided opinion among football fans, with some(mostly Chelsea fans) praising it as a temple of football studies and an academy to rival the likes of the La Masias of the world.
Others(mostly Phil Neville) have likened it to a travel agency, sending young players out on loan to exotic locations year after year until they are sold on.
The truth, as always, lies somewhere in the middle, but one thing that neither side can disagree with is that Chelsea's youth academy is immensely profitable. The likes of Nathaniel Chalobah, Nathan Ake, Bertrand Traore and Dominic Solanke were all sold for a profit by Chelsea in the 2017 summer transfer window.
In recent years very few players have managed to successfully integrate themselves into the first-team and even when they have, they have done so for short spells. The likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ryan Bertrand have enjoyed exceedingly short spells in the first-team before being sent back out on loan.
Chelsea currently have the chance to prove the efficacy of their youth academy with Andreas Christensen, who is currently on the verge of becoming a regular first-team player. The Danish centre-back spent two years at Borussia Monchengladbach before getting this opportunity and has impressed in recent performances, even keeping David Luiz out of the Chelsea line-up.
Also read: Top 10 players destroyed by Chelsea