Chelsea FC: The Blues’ most successful FA Youth Cup winning academy graduates revealed

28 Apr

Chelsea sealed a third consecutive FA Youth Cup win on Wednesday night, their fifth victory in the last six seasons.

Roman Abramovich’s academy stars have now claimed the competition in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Despite the success of the Blues in youth tournaments, though, how many have actually gone on to graduate to the first team?

We’ve taken a look at the most successful – in terms of appearances for the first team – and it makes for interesting reading…

Josh McEachran (22 senior appearances) (left for Brentford in July 2015)

When McEachran first burst onto the senior scene in the 2010-11 campaign, he looked to be the long-term successor to Frank Lampard. His career certainly hasn’t panned out as expected.

After a few appearances for the first team, the youngster was given a new contract in June 2011, earning himself a significant wage increase, but he failed to live up to expectations.

Following various loan moves, he ended his 15-year association with Chelsea last summer to join Championship outfit Brentford.

At 23 years old, there is still time for the midfielder to make a return to the Premier League, but he has some work to do to persuade a top flight club he is ready to perform regularly at this level.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (19 appearances to date, two goals)

Loftus-Cheek is perhaps the one youth player Chelsea supporters are really excited about.

Jose Mourinho came in for much criticism over his reluctance to blood the 20-year-old into his first team, with the youngster’s appearances sporadic and short-lived.

In the second half of the campaign, though, he has become a regular on the senior team sheet and opened his account for the club in a 2-0 FA Cup victory over Scunthorpe back in January.

He is far from the finished product, but the signs are promising. He’ll have to hope that Antonio Conte is as keen to continue his progression as Guus Hiddink has been.

Nathan Ake (12 senior appearances) (on loan at Watford)

Ake is currently on loan at Watford and while reports have claimed the Hornets are interested in making his temporary deal permanent, in March he voiced his desire to return to Stamford Bridge.

He has impressed manager Quique Sánchez Flores at Vicarage Road and is in with a chance of becoming a key member of the senior Chelsea team under Conte next season.

The defender has made 19 Premier League appearances for the Hornets and looks an improved option to Abdul Baba Rahman. Whether the Blues’ coaching staff think the same, however, remains to be seen. His deal in the English capital expires in 2020.

Jeffrey Bruma (nine senior appearances) (left for PSV Eindhoven in June 2013)

Chelsea have been so reliant on John Terry for so long that the chances of breaking into the first team as a centre-back has been slim for some time.

Bruma was one player who appeared as though he could be a long-term prospect in the heart of the defence, quickly maturing with the Blues.

There proved too much competition for places during his time, however, so it was with an air of inevitability that Bruma finally ended his time at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2013.

How Chelsea could do with him now.

Lucas Piazon (three senior appearances) (currently on loan at Reading)

Given the plethora of attacking midfield options for Chelsea, it’s unsurprising the Brazilian has been forced to search for playing time elsewhere.

His spell at the Madejski Stadium this season has been mixed for him, with many aware of his talent but frustrated at his struggle for consistency.

The 22-year-old still has some work to do and it could be some time – if at all – before he is given a run in the Blues’ first team.

Andreas Christensen (three senior appearances) (on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach)

Christensen has caught the eye in the Bundesliga, so much so that Monchengladbach are keen to make his deal permanent, just as they did with Thorgan Hazard.

The Blues, however, are said to be keen on keeping a hold of the 20-year-old, suggesting he is thought of highly by Roman Abramovich.

He’s made 36 appearances, in all competitions, for the German outfit and could be considered a replacement to John Terry.


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