Time For Chelsea to Give Youth a Chance?

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Knocked out of the Champions League. 10th in the league, and soundly beaten by former blue, Romelu Lukaku.

Its fair to say things are currently gloomy at the Bridge.

The key player of last term, Eden Hazard, frequently seen terrorising defences with his magic feet and wonderful finishing, has now turned into a worse winger than, Yuri Zhirkov, a Russain flop bought for £18 million back in 2009.

With nothing left to play for, and the only exciting news coming up for Chelsea fans being the imminent arrival of Antonio Conte, the management must change their style.

For me, this means putting faith in the youth for the rest of the season. Ruben Loftus-Cheek must be give game time, as well as the impressive, and pacy Burkina Faso international, Bertrand Traore.

Looking onto next season however, with more and more clubs having the resources to spend big, as well as Chelsea’s lack of European football next year, it seems obvious their will be few big name signings arriving in West London.

Despite this, we do in fact have a grand total of 31 new players to call on for next year. I am of course referring to our ridiculously large group of loaned players, including match winning attacking midfielders, and a Bundesliga player of the month.

Realistically, many of these players will be either shipped out on loan again, sold cheaply, or released on a free.

There are a few however, who I believe deserve a shot at first team action next season.

Firstly, left-back, Nathan Ake has impressed on loan at Watford. Bought by Chelsea aged 17, the 22 year old has delighted onlookers at Vicarage Road. Loaned to Reading in the latter parts of last season, he earned 2 man of the match awards, and has furthered his development this season with some mature performances for the Hornets, playing like a BPL player of real experience.

With Baba Rahman putting in a few shaky performances, Kenedy blatantly deserving a chance further up the pitch, and Azpilicueta’s obvious superiority playing on the right, Ake may just get a go next season.

The man to join him in the centre of defence next season, may well be Danish international, Andreas Christensen. Reportedly paid over 10k a week by Chelsea at the tender age of 18, he has gained the attention of Barcelona scouts, with good displays for Borussia Monchengladbach this season. Voted Danish young player of the year in December 2015, he has quickly risen into a solid, ball playing centre-back, surely demanding the attention of Chelsea chiefs.

As sad as it is to say, John Terry may be gone next season, leaving a huge gap in the defence, and with Cahill ageing, we need to look quickly for a future partner for the currently injured, former Saint-Etienne man, Kurt Zouma.

A young Belgian central midfielder, going by the name Charly Musonda, is the most controversial name I have mentioned. Competing well at Chelsea youth levels, winning 3 trophies, as well as being capped at U21 level by his nation, Musonda recently grabbed his chance out in Spain, with Real Betis being named man of the match in his first game, against Spanish giants, Valencia, and then scoring his first professional goal vs Deportivo La Coruna a week later.

You only need to give his social media pages a visit to begin to see not just the talent this youngster has, but also the confidence to pull it off in big games.

Playing in front of 40,000 strong crowds, he has put in performances to already be considered as a cult hero by those at the Benito Villamarin.

Hazard’s Chelsea future is looking shaky, and Oscar looks like half the player we believed we’d inherited back in 2012. Too lethargic on the ball, and a seemingly unwillingness to track back, as led me to come to the conclusion that him, and the pathetically spoilt Eden Hazard, need to be sold.

Transfer fees will be high, and yes, the attraction will be to look for a star, James Rodriguez or Madrid team-mate Isco spring to mind, yet why not give young Charly a chance? Who’s to say he can’t beat his fellow Belgian’s impressive 1 goal so far this season?

Other names such as Reading centre back, Michael Hector – recently converted to CDM by manager, Brian McDermott – Christian Atsu, and Nathan, all look like they too could be stars of the future.

Yet it seems we all know their fate; and that of young Ake, Andreas, and Charly.

Sent out on loan so quickly, they’ll barely have time to pop round their neighbours for a cuppa, added to a ‘loanees WhatsApp group’, and sent extensive video clips by Chelsea legend Paulo Ferreira, before being sold, and sparkling elsewhere, or quickly plunging down the football divisions.

Chelsea need a new approach. Man Utd have proved it can work. 2 goals by academy prospect, Marcus Rashford, kept Van Gaal in his job, with a further 2 against the Gunners all but trampling their rival’s title ambitions. And I need not mention his Manchester derby winner.

Millions have been pumped in by owner, Roman Abramovich, to build state of the art facilities for kids down in Cobham. It is time to make use of them.

The ‘class of 2015’, Dominic Solanke, Isaiah Brown, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, may well make it at the Bridge, Loftus-Cheek possibly next year; but for now lets make do with the Ghanian internationals, and BBVA wonderkids we currently have in our ranks.

Chelsea need a change, quickly. New players do that. Even unproven ones. Just ask the Dutchman down at Carrington.