The rising stars from Cobham to watch out for, in Chelsea academy

 Chelsea's academy is famous for producing, or more accurately acquiring, immensely talented footballers, even if most of them end up plying their trade away from Stamford Bridge.

The rising stars from Cobham to watch out for, in Chelsea academy

The likes of Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Reece James are recent academy graduates from Cobham, while the Blues have also seen Jamal Musiala and Declan Rice slip through their fingers.

Boasting an academy currently stocked with talent, there are plenty of prodigies that Mauricio Pochettino and his senior staff will be keeping a close eye on moving forward. Some of them have represented Chelsea this season already, while others are honing their skills out on loan.

Here are some of the brightest Chelsea academy players worth watching out for in the future.

Cesare Casadei

An academy signing, Cesare Casadei joined the Blues from Inter for a base fee of £12.6m in 2022, spending the second half of last season on loan at Reading. The Italian impressed with the Royals, but couldn't save them from relegation to League One.

The 21-year-old was unlikely to find regular minutes in a Chelsea midfield worth well over £200m and was shifted on loan to current Championship table toppers Leicester City. Under the tutelage of his compatriot Enzo Maresca, Casadei was expected to flourish but has spent the majority of the campaign on the bench.

While he scored a late winner on his Foxes debut against Cardiff City, the midfielder has since struggled to nail down a starting berth, more regularly used in the cup competitions.

However, the Italian still has a big future, even if it comes away from west London.

Alfie Gilchrist

Alfie Gilchrist has regularly been a part of Chelsea's first-team squad this season, earning his first taste of Premier League action, albeit via small cameos from the bench.

However, the versatile centre-back has also been used in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup this season, highlighting just how impressed Pochettino has been by his academy and training displays.

Gilchrist has been a regular unused substitute in top-flight squads this season, and while Chelsea's injury crisis may have helped the 20-year-old's cause, he could find a pathway into the first team on a more regular basis if he can keep improving.

Deivid Washington


Another hefty signing for the Blues' U21s squad, who set the club back £17m, it's perhaps surprising that the Deivid Washington hasn't been used more frequently this season given Chelsea's centre-forward woes.

With Christopher Nkunku injured, Nicolas Jackson misfiring and Armando Broja struggling, Washington potentially could have earned a few more minutes in the cup competitions at least - the 18-year-old has played just twice this term for the Blues.

The striker was impressive during his time in Brazil, making 16 appearances and scoring two goals at such a tender age for Santos.

Harvey Vale

A player who has been admired throughout his time in the Chelsea academy, Harvey Vale has made a smattering of appearances for the Blues in the past. Three of those have come in the FA Cup and two in the Carabao Cup, but the attacking midfielder has had to search for minutes away from Stamford Bridge to further his development.

Vale was sent out to Bristol Rovers at the beginning of the campaign, quickly finding his feet with the League One club.

Vale has even been used as a left-back on several occasions this term, underlining his versatility. The 20-year-old is likely to have impressed Pochettino, but, as is the case for the majority of Chelsea's youth players, faces a difficult task to make it into the Blues' first-team squad.

Alex Matos

Matos has been on loan at Huddersfield Town / John Early/GettyImages

Alex Matos also arrived at Chelsea last summer, joining the club from Norwich City's youth setup. After a couple of senior appearances in the first half of the season, including a solitary Premier League cameo, the central midfielder has been sent on loan to Huddersfield Town for the second half of the campaign.

Pochettino will be keeping a keen eye on Matos' progress moving forward and the English youngster will be eager to take the opportunity handed to him by the Terriers.

Matos produced plenty of dazzling displays during his time with Norwich's academy, but he will have to raise his game if he hopes to break into the first-team setup at Stamford Bridge.

Diego Moreira

Moreira featured for Chelsea this season before his loan / Clive Rose/GettyImages

Another recruit from last summer, Diego Moreira is a youngster with bags of potential. A winger who spent the last few years at Benfica's fabled academy, the 19-year-old has been loaned out to Ligue 1 side Lyon for the 2023/24 campaign.

The French giants have been in disarray this term, perhaps impacting Moreira's exposure to first-team football. The majority of the sparing appearances Moreira has been afforded have come from the bench.

Moreira is known for his pace and direct play style, a wide forward who loves to beat the opposition full-back. If only he was a ruthless goalscoring centre-forward, exactly what the Blues need at present.

Tyrique George

Just 17 years old, Tyrique George has already made a significant impression at Cobham. The winger has been between Chelsea's U18s and U21s this season, scoring four goals in five matches for the younger age bracket so far.

George joined Chelsea's youth setup at the U8 level, dazzling as he rose through the age groups. He has also represented England regularly, with the attacker part of the England U17 side at last summer's European Championship.

Another exciting and direct winger, George won Chelsea's goal of the month award for April 2023, finding himself nominated again in October and November of that year after some stunning strikes.

Leo is the son of former footballer Stewart Castledine / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Son of former Wimbledon midfielder Stewart Castledine, the 19-year-old shone in the U18s, regularly scoring goals from attacking midfield. Promoted to the U21s, he has continued to sparkle in Premier League 2 games this season.

The versatile midfielder has trained with the Blues' first team on occasion and has impressed the coach of the development squad Mark Robinson.

Speaking about Castledine last season, he stated: "In terms of energy, he is similar to [Mason] Mount and [Conor] Gallagher. I think he has more elements of Conor. He can be very dangerous when he arrives in the box. He is definitely going to be a goal-scoring midfielder."

If Chelsea were to sell Gallagher in the near future, they may have a ready-made replacement coming through the academy.


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