In recent seasons, Michael Emenalo and the Chelsea scouting network have been successful in buying top young talents who are either integrated into the club youth system, loaned out or directly integrated into the first team.
The youngsters integrated into the first team like Hazard and Oscar were bought for eye-catching sums as they were deemed ready for action. These players were expected to produce immediate results and would command astronomical transfer fees if they were to be sold.
While those in the academy are not deemed to be ready yet, there are quite a few who are the bridge between academy players and the first team. Players who have been loaned out to get regular game time at those clubs to help them develop to a level that would make them good to go for the first team. Here are some of the players most likely to be members of the first team squad in the next few years.
The Ruud Gullit look-alike is not a new name to the Chelsea faithful having broken into the first team under Champions League winner Roberto Di Matteo in 2012. Versatile enough to play at center back, left back and central midfield, the 20-year-old has captained the Chelsea youth team to the U-21 Premier League and FA Cup trophies. Technically Dutch, he plays a passing game and is gifted with the vision to make those long passes from deep inside his own half. He is currently on a month-long loan at Reading in the Championship where he made his debut in their 1-1 draw with Cardiff City. With Matic and Mikel being the only true defensive midfielders in the Chelsea side, and Kurt Zouma the only reserve for center back, Ake’s chances for breaking into the first team are genuinely believable
From loan spells at MK Dons to Derby County and now Middlesbrough, Bamford has been a never-ending success story. His 17 goals in 37 appearances have been the key to Boro’s push for Premier League football. Under Mourinho’s former assistant, Aitor Karanka, Bamford is being mentored to be a complete striker. His goal against reigning (for five weeks at least) Premier League champions Manchester City has proved that he can cut it with the big boys as well. With Costa as our number one striker and Remy as his backup, Bamford could soon be our third choice striker with Ivorian legend Drogba set to retire soon.
This is a love story gone completely wrong. After three Champions League goals against Chelsea, the so-called Egyptian Messi was signed for 11 million pounds. His early performances were superb including a goal against Arsenal in the famous 6-0 win, and winning a penalty and an assist in Chelsea’s 3-0 win at Stoke. It all but seemed that Chelsea had found their right wing Eden Hazard, but a spell on the sidelines and several inconsistent outings led to him being barely named in the match squad let alone the starting eleven. He was recently shipped out to Fiorentina where he has regained his form with 7 goals in 12 appearances. Whether he will come back to Chelsea to fight for his spot remains to be seen but the 18 million fee for his purchase included in his loan deal seems like a good bit of business.
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Edited By: Vikram