Chelsea NextGen coach Dermot Drummy believes there are insufficient opportunities for academy graduates to make their mark in the first team.
Drummy, who also manages the club’s reserve side, will be on the sidelines when Chelsea’s under-19 team face Aston Villa in the NextGen Series final on Monday in Como, Italy.
Despite their success at youth level, the Englishman is discouraged by the amount of players that are forced to go out on loan in search of first-team football as Chelsea continue to purchase established stars.
“It’s difficult because Chelsea will buy ready-made players, but the bottom line is you’ve got to produce a player,” he told the Mirror.
“There is a second tier now, where the lads like Nathaniel (Chalobah) and Josh (McEachran) tend to go out on loan.
“But there has to be a pathway and opportunities, in my opinion, for the young British players to get a chance. Play them in the League Cup because you never get an answer on a player until you play them.
“At the moment, they have to go away because they want to play first-team football. The boys have got to be patient sometimes, but, on the other hand, there has to be a pathway.”
Drummy has watched his team beat the likes of Juventus and Barcelona en route to the final and believes the NextGen tournament has proven that their young players are among Europe’s elite.
“The NextGen gives us a barometer of where the lads are because we are playing European football,” he said.
“We know it’s not the be-all at this level to beat Barcelona, but we went there and played fantastic football. We are playing very attractive, technical football.”