Over the past few seasons, Chelsea’s academy has proven to be by far the best in England with multiple FA Youth Cup wins and clinching the UEFA Youth League trophy in back-to-back seasons.
Once again during this campaign they have been showing that on a senior level as well, reaching the semi-final of the Checkatrade Trophy and only getting knocked out of the competition to Lincoln City on penalties.
Along with that, several of the players have trained with the Blues’ first team this season, with Ethan Ampadu, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Dujon Sterling all making appearances for the senior side in the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and even the Premier League.
The youngsters have already got through their UEFA Youth League quarter-final tie with Real Madrid this season, while also racing into the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup after a 6-0 win over Fulham.
But who should Chelsea fans be hoping will break through in the future?
Having signed in the summer from Exeter City, the 17-year-old has been part of the Blues’ first team squad all season and every time that he has been brought on he has never really looked out of place.
Three FA Cup appearances, three in the Carabao Cup and coming on as a substitute in the Premier League against Huddersfield Town, Ampadu has been trusted by Conte and has really grown as one of the squad players.
Along with making two Wales appearances already under Chris Coleman, Ampadu is looking like a real find for the Blues and one that will hopefully get more chances next season as well.
Playing at either centre-back or central midfield, he has useful versatility and will be an important player in the future.
Of all the players in the academy at the moment, Hudson-Odoi is certainly creating the most amount of hype and it is easy to see why.
The U17s World Cup winner was excellent in the competition and plays without fear, running at defenders and has shown a great amount of skill, along with a good range of passing as well.
In youth football he seems to be a head above at the moment and has proven in both the U18s and Development Squad that he can produce great moments.
Hudson-Odoi has yet to make a first team start, but has made substitute appearances in both the FA Cup against Newcastle and Hull, plus in the Premier League against Bournemouth.
Hudson-Odoi was named on the bench for the Champions League match against Barcelona as well and was superb to help the young Blues into the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup.
As a right-back, James has a lot of decent qualities that could work well with the Blues first team as he also has a lot of pace and is good defensively.
Where he probably has the edge over Dujon Sterling, James is a very good crosser of the ball and a lot of Chelsea’s goal can come through his delivery into the box.
Especially late in games he provides a decent outlet with great stamina and could well be a good be a useful man to have around the squad, and could definitely help Davide Zappacosta and Victor Moses learn how to cross.
He will have to be a good outlet for the Blues to get some joy on the wing.
Like Ampadu, Sterling was part of the Chelsea first team squad earlier in the season and made his debut in the Carabao Cup against Nottingham Forest, while also coming on in the FA Cup against Norwich.
Sterling is the sort of player that would suit Conte’s system well in the right wing-back role, getting up and down the flank and with a great amount of pace to go with it.
Again he has been around the first team all season and was part of the matchday squad that travelled for the Watford game and Conte has hinted several times that he would be willing to work with the player if signings hadn’t come in.
The younger brother of Nathaniel, and potentially an even better player, as the Trevoh has a lot of qualities to make it at the top level as well.
He can play as either a centre-back or, as he did last night, a central midfielder, however it seems in defence that he is puts in probably the best performances.
Tall, good on the ball and quick as well, Chalobah looks like a very good prospect for the future and could be a useful asset that comes through the academy for the next few years.