Chelsea’s Youth Development
Inevitably, the Premier League will continue to be one of the most diverse leagues in the world, and as such it brings about a focus on youth development – particularly English youngsters. Not only from the FA, but pressure from fans and now even reportedly Roman Abramovich to make the most of the academy, will hopefully mean that we start to see a return on the investment and time dedicated to nurturing young talent at the club.
Thankfully, this already seems to be happening with notable appearances towards the back end of the season for a number of promising players. The next step is for the players to convert these opportunities into regular starting spots and for Jose to open up those places in games that have meaning rather than dead rubbers at the end of the season.
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English Talent in Premier League Academies
Across the Premier League as a whole, Premier League Academies have 320 scholars aged between 16 and 18 and a further 2,486 students aged under 16.
Interestingly enough, Over 85% of Academy scholars (16-18 years of age) are British, a proportion that rises to around 95 per cent for students (under 16 age groups).
With all this focus on home grown players, we thought we’d dig a little deeper into squad registration for the Premier League clubs and who can be classed as a ‘Home Grown Player’ by the league.
How The Premier League Home Grown Player Rule Works
Here’s what you need to know about the Premier League’s ‘Home Grown player’ rule.
- All 20 Clubs must include eight Home Grown players out of a squad of 25 for that Premier League season
- A Home Grown player will be defined as one who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the FA for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21)
- Clubs are able to supplement their squads with unlimited additional players under the age of 21 on 1st January in the year in which the season commences
- Changes to the squad list of 25 may be made during the period of a transfer window. So Clubs must declare their 25 at the end of August when the window shuts and then again at the end of January
As such, all English academies need to keep producing top English talent. If not to supplement the senior squads, then to be certain of fulfilling their ‘Home Grown’ player quota.
Chelsea’s Existing Home Grown Players
Amongst the current squad, Chelsea only have 6 senior home grown players:
There are countless other players within the youth setup that are still Under-21 and will therefore be eligible to supplement the submitted 25 man squad without needing to be included in the 25.
Players including Nathan Ake, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mitchell Beeney, Lewis Baker, Jamal Blackman, Izzy Brown and Patrick Bamford would all be considered home grown as and when they turn 21.
Only time will tell how Chelsea approach this next season in terms of meeting their home grown quota, but regardless of that, I think all Blues fans hope to see more from the Academy in the 2015/16 season and beyond.