Five Chelsea academy stars who could impact Thomas Tuchel amid major FIFA decision
It’s fair to say that the FIFA Club World Cup is wreaking havoc in Chelsea’s preparations for the season.
The Blues have reserved their place in the tournament after lifting the Champions League under Thomas Tuchel, but they were not informed of their opportunity.
The mini-tournament has already had to be moved from Japan due to Covid-19 issues in the country, with reports suggesting it may even now be postponed with an alternate venue to be found.
With the Blues side potentially ready to fly, perhaps with little notice, Chelsea could be forced to play some of their academy stars in his absence – as Liverpool were forced to do when participated in the tournament in 2019.
In this spirit, football.london take a look at five academy prospects who could try their luck in the first team.
Young attacking midfielder Vale started the season in excellent shape and was arguably one of the best Under-23 players in the first weeks of the season.
The 18-year-old, who only reached U23 level last season, already has five goals and two assists in just eight appearances in all competitions.
He also gained international recognition after recently making two outings for the English U19s.
A year older than Vale at 19, Dutch center-back Mbuyamba has already marked Chelsea’s first team by appearing on the bench in the Blues’ Carabao Cup victory over Aston Villa.
Signed from Barcelona in 2020, the defender has huge promises and could offer the Blues more defensive success in the academy after Trevoh Chalobah’s strong rise this season.
A regular defensive colleague of Mbuyamba, McClelland has been practically omnipresent for the Blues academy throughout the campaign, while having been the team captain on several occasions.
He also has experience against senior quality having also played the full 90 minutes of Chelsea’s EFL Trophy win over Exeter City in August.
McClelland has also made his mark for the Northern Ireland Under-21s, so it only seems a matter of time that he has more first-team experience, whether with Chelsea or elsewhere.
Another to have started the season in style, the performances of the midfielder are all the more impressive since he is only 17 years old.
He has scored twice in his first five appearances for Chelsea U23 – an extremely solid number for a central midfielder.
The Englishman’s talents don’t end there though, with his versatility also allowing him to replace both the left-back and the outside.
The transfer window is over and the season is off to a good start
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A Norwegian goal machine in the lead for the Blues sounds good, it must be said.
The Tromso-born striker has been part of Chelsea’s youth squad since 2019 and aims to build on a positive season last season. He started in a good vein with three goals in his first seven games of the season in all competitions.
Fiabema has also taken this form on the international stage with four goals in five appearances for Norway’s U18s, having progressed in different age groups.