Former Chelsea defender Mario Melchiot believes younger players should be making the step up into the first team considering how successful Chelsea’s youth sides have been in recent seasons.
“I’m a big fan of young players – I got my opportunity at Ajax when I was super young and was fortunate to have a coach like Louis van Gaal, he gave me that opportunity,” Melchiot told talkSPORT.
“It’s all great that the club is investing so much money on young talent, in their academy and their recent signings.
“If you look at Conte’s recruitment, he’s going for the guys who are aged 21-25 because those are the young players you can develop your own style into.
“But then I ask myself, when are the next young players going to break through into the team?
“If you look at Chelsea, the latest player I know that really had great success from a young age is John Terry. Who came after John Terry?
“I mean, they win every youth competition!
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a go at the club because I love Chelsea and I always will.
“But sometimes I do ask myself, when is the time going to come when it’s right to allow a young player to shine in the senior team? You’ve got to take the risk and you’ve got to have belief, because if not, all the investment you’re doing is not even worth it.
“Winning all of those youth cups and not playing any of your young stars, it makes it unnecessary. You might as well not do it.”