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Former Chelsea fullback Mario Melchiot has compared Chelsea under Frank Lampard to Dutch champions Ajax.
Melchiot began his career at Ajax before moving in 1999 to Chelsea, where he played 165 games in a team which included our current head coach Frank Lampard and assistant coach Jody Morris.
“Chelsea are bringing in the former players to coach, who will help the push for youth that they want to bring through,” Melchiot told Goal.
“If I was a young player at Chelsea, then I would be so excited. You have a coach who will give you an opportunity because his own opportunity was at a young age.
“In his mind, it makes sense to do that. He also can’t bring in new players for at least a year so he has to use what he has around him. This is your chance. I have been a long advocate that Chelsea should use their youth players because they win so much at youth level.”
“Now, I am also going to be honest with the young guys, if you don’t take the chance, then you can’t make excuses if you don’t make it. This is your year. The ones in the first team or just below have a big chance,” added the Dutchman.
“We do it at Ajax so that’s our model. Chelsea are more like Ajax this season. They can’t make big signings but the smart thing to do is promote the young boys.
“If they qualify again for Europe, it is a big success. Even the Europa League. They can build on a European finish. They will build on the young players, then sign more alongside a group of successful homegrown talent.
“Bringing through homegrown talent is a success in itself. You see Chelsea’s youngsters won a lot of trophies but the real trophy is now that they are being used.”