One of the main reasons why Chelsea hasn’t managed to obtain consistency in their success in the last few years is due to the absence of a perennial supply of academy players in the main team. Since Roman took over, the Chelsea squad has always consisted of either big-money signings or extremely talented and much sought after youngsters, none of whom have been promoted from the academy.
The club does possess a quality academy that has won quite some silverware in the recent past and produced a crop that has brought excellent results while playing in teams all over the world (on loan).
Here are a few names that have done well over the year:
Tomas Kalas: At 20, Kalas accounts for a tall, fast and versatile centre-back who could also back-up as a full-back on the right. With two good seasons on loan at Vitesse, the youngster looks ready for some top-notch Premier League action donning his true colours.
Wallace Oliveira: The 19-year-old Brazilian full-back was signed in December last year to take the place of Paulo Ferreira upon his departure. Quick and agile, combined with Brazilian flair, makes this not-much-known youngster a dangerous commodity.
Kevin de Bruyne: A product of Racing Genk’s academy, he is the third Belgian following Courtois and Lukaku to join Chelsea in the summer of 2011-12. After a successful tenure on loan at Werder Bremen, this much talked about lad seems ready to be a part of the Blues’ roster. He is an attacking midfielder who can back-up as a winger.
Joshua McEachran: Starting as a central midfielder, he was employed on the flanks by Middlesbrough last year owing to his agility and dribbling. Josh is one of the youngsters who was given a crack at senior appearances under Andre-Vilas Boas, which means sharing the dressing room with the contemporary squad is nothing new for him.
Lucas Piazon: Yet another talented Brazilian forward sharing a very similar style of play with the legendary Ricardo Kaka. When purchased from Sao Paulo, Chelsea had to fight off interests from clubs like Juventus. Nothing shows the quality of a youngster like the magnitude of clubs chasing after him.
Romelu Lukaku: Lukaku had joined Chelsea from Anderlecht after two great seasons. Even at West Brom this past season, Lukaku has been nothing short of exemplary. His brute finishing, muscular strength and physical game makes one wonder – could he be the next Didier Drogba?
In Roman’s 10-year tenure, the Blues have won 11 trophies and most of us know how he got his players to achieve that. Promoting players from the academy could and would increase the chances of adding further silverware. Hence, guess it is time to see some young legs blooded in the Chelsea roster!