For so long, a lot of critics have complained of the poor level of attention attached to youth development by managers at Chelsea. We have even lost players because of this over the course of our existence as a club. Very recently, in the summer transfer window, more and more young players were offloaded either on loan or outright sales. There’s proper explanation for the trend, but even then, there’s need for change to accommodate youth development, and I think we might be getting there eventually. Perhaps, not immediately, but we’re taking the right steps towards that.
A few days ago, Charly Musonda went on a bizarre verbal rant targeted at Chelsea management, and it seems to have paid off, albeit gradually. The 21-year-old got some action time on the pitch during the midweek fixture against Everton in the Carabao Cup, and he did show up. But apart from Musonda, Ethan Ampadu, Christensen and Kenedy were all on song. Christensen’s performance didn’t come as a surprise because he was always impressive, even against bigger opposition, but Kenedy was much livelier and calculated in his play.
The biggest performer amongst the youths on the night was perhaps 17-year-old Ampadu who got his first senior team debut on Tuesday. He partnered Danny Drinkwater in midfield, and was more than up for the task. And to think he might have chosen to play for Arsenal, especially seeing as his father is a strong supporter of our rivals, makes it all the more interesting to have him.
In all, it was a great night for our youth football, and one that shows that there yet might be hope for them. We may take winning trophy too seriously to consider giving youth a chance to play, but who says they too cannot handle us a major boost? If anything, the game on Tuesday showed that sometimes, all it takes is a little faith and trust to see the best in someone else.