For the first time in forever, Chelsea actually have a very talented crop of young players coming up in their system. The scouts have done a wonderful job picking out young, raw, talent from around the globe and they have put the club in a very favorable position. Of course, we have the money to go out and buy established elite talent, but now we also have the luxury to promote elite talent from within. The best part is, the elite talent we already have in the squad are all still very young. Eden Hazard, Oscar, Juan Mata, Ramires, David Luiz, Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois, John Obi Mikel, Kevin De Bruyne, Oriol Romeu, Nathan Ake, Ryan Bertrand, and Victor Moses – all of these guys are 25 years old and younger. Not one of them is over the age of 25. All of them are world class and/or on their way to being world class. We have a nice crop of younger players that are either out on loan or plying their trade in the U18-U21 system. Guys like Jeremie Boga, Islam Feruz and Alex Kiwomya are looking primed for an aggressive loan abroad, but are currently helping the youth squad seek more silverware. Tomas Kalas, Patrick Van Aaanholt, Thorgan Hazard, Gael Kakuta, Kenneth Omeruo, Nathaniel Chalobah, Jeffrey Bruma, Josh McEachran, and Lucas Piazon are all out on loans and all are showing great promise. Some of these guys probably won’t get the chance to make it to the Chelsea first team, but a good portion of them very well could.
In the very near future I can see guys like Chalobah, Ake, Omeruo, Piazon, McEachran, Thorgan Hazard, Van Aanholt and Kalas fighting for a spot in the first team. This is a very exciting time for Chelsea and their fans as we are stockpiled with young talent to the point that we could very well be OVERstocked. There are so many players that could fill various roles that it’s going to be impossible to include everyone in the first team squad. For example, Chalobah can play CB and DM, Kalas can play CB and RB, Omeruo can play CB and RB, Ake can play CB and DM, Piazon can play LW, AM or as a secondary striker (granted not as effective there), Thorgan Hazard can play anywhere in the band of three, Kevin De Bruyne can play AM, CM and LW, and McEachran can play CM, LM or AM. There will be talented players left out and will probably be forced to sell them because there’s only so many times you can loan a guy out, the day is going to come where you are going to have to either re-up his contract and give him some playing time, or sell him off. On a personal note, I would really like to see Van Aanholt as our starting LB in the near future (once Cole is gone), over Ryan Bertrand. I think Van Aanholt can provide us with more quality. I am going to explore a variety of starting XI’s we can roll out with the guys I believe we will keep using our preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. Keep in mind, these are projections at least 2-3 years down the road, so Lampard, Terry, Cole, Ivanovic, and Cahill will be nowhere to be found because I'm projecting they won't be with us any longer by then.
Many of you might question the Mikel-Chalobah pivot but I think it could work. They are both excellent defensively and both are wonderful distributors of the ball. They can pick out players and put them in positive positions moving forward. Mid-way through the game we can sub one of them out and give McEachran a run to switch it up and give the defense fits. Of course, another wonderful option at the pivot would be Oriol Romeu who could also come in as a sub for one of them as well as start a good amount of games because Chelsea will always suffer from fixture congestion and will need to rest players. Also, since Chalobah can also fill a void at CB if an injury occurs to one of our starting CBs or if Omeruo turns out to be not as good as we think he can be, Chalobah-Luiz pairing at CB will open up a spot for either Romeu or McEachran to start alongside Mikel. Let’s look at another dynamic we can trot out there:
Here, we decided to give Kalas a start at RB and give Ake a run out at CB, while completely changing our attacking trident. This is the kind of rotation we will have at our disposal. The possibilities are endless. I could go on and on with the various line ups we could come up with, it’s ridiculous. If we are blessed with a tactical manager we could even switch to 4-3-3 (SHOCK! AWE!) and not miss a beat. We have already seen Ake play at DM and was fairly successful, granted against lesser competition but nonetheless. We have the option of moving Ake into the pivot and taking out McEachran/Mikel, switch Kalas to CB, and bring in Azpi to cover RB. I will post one more formation and that will be it. All of this is really just to illustrate to all of you just how much talent we have at our disposal and just how young all these kids are.
I realized I forgot Piazon in the others and that just goes to show you how stacked we are. De Bruyne, Mata, Thorgan, Ramires, Moses are all missing from this line up, yet it is still an extremely strong squad that would be able to compete with the best of them. Oriol Romeu is another I did not include but again you can put him in place of Chalobah and as the great Odemwingie would say “IT DOESN’T WEAKEN NOTHING!”
Chelsea FC might not have any history, but we are on our way to cementing our place in the history books for years to come.