Monday, June 25, 2018

Could Chelsea youngsters be given their chance this season?

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 12 Jan 2017


Chelsea youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be given the chance to play first-team football before the season is out


Chelsea and their boss Antonio Conte have been linked with signing every Tom, Dick and Harry in January.

However, so far the only transfer action that has happened at Stamford Bridge is the departures of Brazilian playmaker Oscar and John Obi Mikel to the Chinese Super League.

No doubt the Blues will be looking to strengthen their squad options this month.

There could be another viable option for the league leaders, though, using youngsters they already own. It’s a revolutionary idea I know, but it may just work.

A very capable youngster

Chelsea have been criticised in the past for stockpiling players, especially young players and loaning them out to other clubs. One such youngster Nathan Ake has just been recalled from a loan spell at Bournemouth.

The 21-year-old is one of the most promising of the Blues up and coming young starlets. Ake has already impressed in the Premier League in loan spells first at Watford and obviously more recently at Bournemouth.

The versatile Dutch star seems to have composure and maturity beyond his years. The fact that he can play as a full-back, centre-back and a defensive midfielder make him an even more valuable asset to any squad.

With Chelsea playing three centre-backs. Ake could prove to be a very competent backup player to the current first choice centre-back trio David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta. The youngster is unlikely to let the leaders down if called upon.

A chance in midfield for Loftus-Cheek

Chelsea have already sold two midfielders in Oscar and John Obi Mikel in January. That means there could be the opportunity for another player to come in and provide backup. That player could be young central midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

The 20-year-old recently impressed in the FA Cup third round 4-1 win over Peterborough. Blues boss Conte has stated that the young midfielder will not be allowed to leave this month, as he is an important player to Chelsea.

Loftus-Cheek has been regarded as a promising star for some time at Chelsea, even before he made his Blues debut in December 2014. The England under-21 international seems to have all the attributes needed to develop into a top central midfielder in the future.

Conte has even talked about Loftus-Cheek potentially playing as a striker in the future, because of his good personality and technique. With Oscar and Mikel now gone, Loftus-Cheek has automatically moved up the midfield pecking order.

Antonio Conte no doubt has a settled starting line-up. However, the Italian would not have let the aforementioned pair leave if he did not feel that his current squad is up to coping without them.

The Chelsea boss may well go out and sign a big star. However, from what he has said about Loftus-Cheek he rates the youngster highly, so he has a chance making it at Chelsea.

Chelsea likely to need their whole squad

Chelsea have been in outstanding form in recent months. The Blues are currently top of the Premier League table, five points clear of their nearest challengers Liverpool. Conte’s side are of course the favourites to win the Premier League title this season at odds of 8/11.

The Blues have stuck to the same 13 or 15 players in recent months. If it isn’t broke why fix it? It has worked for the leaders. However, there will likely be a point in the season where Antonio Conte will need to call on his fringes players.

The team may pick up injuries or suspensions, yes Diego that’s you! This is when it is vital for a team’s backup players to be good enough to come in and perform.

In Ake, Chelsea have a player that has impressed in the Premier League already. In Loftus-Cheek the Blues have a player of immense potential, who hopefully for England can develop into a top class player.

As of yet, Chelsea have not brought in any new players. That means Blues boss Antonio Conte may just be ready to give the youngsters the chance to impress. The Italian has done very little wrong so far at Chelsea. Giving these young players a chance could be yet another shrewd move from the wily former-Juventus boss.

Could Chelsea youngsters be given a chance this season?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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