On-loan Blues defender Levi Colwill insisted that gaining experience on loan would do a lot more for his development than only taking part in the first-team training at Chelsea.
The 18-year-old is certainly not the only player who had to make this decision, a few others might still have to make theirs soon.
Colwill, Henry Lawrence, Tino Anjorin, as well as Lewis Bate (now a Leeds United player), are a few Chelsea academy players who were regularly part of the first-team bubble, under both Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel.
Unlike Billy Gilmour, who has already earned his promotion just before Tuchel’s arrival, they are not first-team players, technically.
Many would argue that training under a top-class manager and being surrounded by top players would accelerate their progress. It might have been the case.
On the flip side, they severely lack experience in a competitive environment, aside from those U-23 games with the development squad.
Colwill is clearly aware of that, and therefore, he decided to dive into the Championship football on a loan spell at Huddersfield Town instead.
Colwill eager to prove himself
“Training with the first team [at Chelsea] was a very good thing,” he told the media ahead of Huddersfield Town’s League Cup first-round clash vs Sheffield Wednesday (via YorkshireLive).
“But in the long run, it won’t really mean much to me unless I prove myself day in, day out in such a good league.
“There have been players at Chelsea that have trained with the first team but that’s the furthest they go.
“The label of promising talent doesn’t really mean much to me.”
The young centre-back made a very good point. Very few Chelsea academy graduates made it to the first team without having to showcase their abilities on loan.
Gilmour and Callum Hudson-Odoi are arguably the exceptions rather than the rule. The former even decided to pursue regular football at Norwich City next season.
Colwill is under contract at Chelsea until 2025 and, at 18, will still have plenty of time to hopefully impress and earn his inclusion in the Chelsea first team.