Thomas Tuchel hints at potential first-team promotions for two Chelsea academy stars
Thomas Tuchel said he is delighted to have several academy players join in with the first-team training and specifically mentioned two young talents, in particular.
At the start of the 2019/20 season, Frank Lampard introduced several academy graduates; Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James into the first-team squad following their respective loan spell.
Later in February last year, Billy Gilmour was officially promoted to the first team.
The 19-year-old was the last player who made that step from the academy to the first team, however, at least officially.
Obviously, there are several academy players such as Henry Lawrence and Lewis Bate who has been involved in training and even was listed in Chelsea’s Champions League squad on a few occasions.
But they are yet to receive an official promotion.
The club’s summer transfer spending spree likely played a part as there was not really any vacant space in the squad.
However, Tuchel indicated that there might be more academy graduates that will make the leap, with two academy stars having impressed the manager during training.
Academy players ‘care about the club’ in a different way, says Tuchel
“I love academy boys. I don’t treat them differently, but I’m very, very happy when we have a lot of them on the training pitch,” Tuchel said in his press conference on Friday.
“Also right now, we have Tino Anjorin, Tino Livramento, and other guys who regularly show up in training and try to adapt as quickly as possible to the level and the work ethic and be professionals like the more experienced players.”
Tuchel was full of praise for the people of the Chelsea academy and said he takes pleasure in having discussions with them.
“I believe in any club that has created a special bond with the [local community], if you have young guys constantly coming in and making it, it’s different,” he added.
“It’s different from only relying on bringing in the best players from outside.
“It’s a certain glue that you cannot buy, a certain bond that these guys [academy products] care about the club in a different way.”
It would not be an easy decision for these academy players as well, even if they were to be offered to be part of the first-team squad.
While it would be a dream to be in the senior squad, they will likely play a limited role in games which could hinder their development.
An alternative option would be to go on loan and try to improve and hopefully return with plenty of experience under their belt.
But there is always a risk that by the time they return, Chelsea will have already signed a replacement instead.
This is often the case at Chelsea, as their managers have always been under pressure to win silverwares and therefore refused to take risks with inexperienced academy graduates or on-loan players.
Hopefully, it will be different under Tuchel since he clearly understands how the supporters really value these academy players.
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