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Former Chelsea Development Centre officer Michael Beale was responsible for the Blues signing a number of quality youngsters during his time at the club, and for Beale, his efforts and that of many who invested in the Chelsea academy are now reaping the dividends.
However, Beale has admitted that he was left frustrated by the fact that so few academy players graduated to the first team and he eventually left Chelsea for Liverpool.
“I didn’t believe in what I was saying to the parents anymore,” the Gers’ first-team coach now admits. “I was getting frustrated. I wasn’t willing to be quiet about the lack of opportunity so, rather than be disruptive, I thought it was best to move on.
“Liverpool came in and what an opportunity it was! It wasn’t that the grass was greener but it was cut differently at Liverpool, so I was pleased.
“But I am glad that young talent now gets the chance at Chelsea. There’s no doubt that English football now recognises the excellent work done at under-age level at Chelsea.
“Now we see a system where Nathaniel Chalobah’s younger brother Trevoh may get the chance that Nathaniel didn’t.”