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Chelsea have a young and vibrant team under Frank Lampard this season but former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch doubts the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori would have gotten a chance if Maurizio Sarri had remained at the club.
“Chelsea’s academy has arguably been the best over the last decade but the transition rate for youngsters reaching the first team has been miserable, with so many being shipped out on loan or disappearing after initial signs of promise,” Crouch wrote in his column on Daily Mail.
“This time, it feels as if there is substance to what is going on. Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham have been the focus of everyone’s attention but this week Reece James put himself into the picture with a fantastic performance against Grimsby in the Carabao Cup.
“You then have Callum Hudson-Odoi and Fikayo Tomori – who was outstanding in the defeat by Liverpool last Sunday – and suddenly there is the nucleus of a team that can stay together for a long time.
“Frank will certainly give them every chance to achieve that target.
“It felt like the atmosphere was toxic at Stamford Bridge last season.
“I know Maurizio Sarri achieved all the goals he was set – and won a European trophy – but as much as I never advocated his sacking, I do wonder whether these kids would have got through had he stayed.
“Circumstance has given Mount, Abraham, Hudson-Odoi, Tomori and James the opportunity of a lifetime.
“They have the hunger and ambition to make the most of it.”