Premier League clubs have relied heavily on young players to bring something extra to the table since the league’s inception. Chelsea is no exception, having been one of the most successful English clubs over the last two decades.
Chelsea’s current manager, Thomas Tuchel, may not be as reliant on youth as his predecessor, Frank Lampard. However, there have been some inspiring promotions under the German tactician.
Under Tuchel, Calum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James, and Mason Mount have all successfully transitioned into first-team players, and there is still room for more. Seeing Chelsea graduates compete in the biggest tournaments should motivate Chelsea’s youth prospects, and we may see more of them emerge.
Chelsea currently has a good mix of young first-teamers and reserve-bench stars who can step up, and we’ll look at who they are today.
Without further ado, here are the top five Chelsea youngsters for 2021.
Number 5: Bryan Fiabema
The right-footed center-forward is an excellent ball-striker who is also surprisingly capable of finding pockets of space. Fiabema also has enough speed to cause problems for opposing defenders and is skilled at picking up the ball from midfield.
Fiabema plays in the Premier League 2 for Chelsea’s U-23 team. Fiabema appeared in six games for the 2021-22 Premier League 2 season, scoring four goals.
He has also scored one goal in the UEFA Youth League, and his shooting boot has worked its magic in the EFL Trophy. Fiabema has yet to be called up to the senior team.
However, with injuries to Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, he may be given a chance in cup competitions.
Number 4: Jude Soonsup-Bell
Jude Soonsup-Bell is a rare attacking talent that you can’t take your eyes off. Soonsup-Bell started his football career at Swindon Town when he was nine years old.
The 17-year-old left Swindon in 2015 to join Chelsea’s youth academy. The youngster wasted no time settling in at Chelsea and began scoring right away.
Yes, Soonsup-Bell has yet to make his first-team debut, but we believe he will do so soon.
Number 3: Callum Hudson-Odoi
The rise of Callum Hudson-Odoi is a source of pride for Chelsea fans. He wasn’t always the most talented player in Chelsea’s youth system, but his tenacity shone through. Hudson-Odoi rose through Chelsea’s ranks through perseverance and sheer hard work to become an important member of the first team.
Hudson-Odoi joined the Blues in 2007 and made his under-18 debut the following year. Two years later, in January 2018, he made his debut in the first team, appearing in the FA Cup victory over Newcastle United. The 20-year-old is currently a member of Thomas Tuchel’s first team, primarily playing on the right wing.
The winger is excellent with the ball at his feet, has exceptional speed, and can shoot better than most. Given Chelsea’s depth, establishing himself as a Premier League regular will be difficult. However, he should play more in the EFL and FA Cups.
Number 2: Xavier Mbuyamba
Many Chelsea fans hail Xavier Mbuyamba as the club’s next big thing, and we can’t help but agree. Chelsea first expressed interest in him in 2019. The terms were agreed upon as if by magic, and the transaction was set to close.
Unfortunately, Chelsea was hit with a transfer ban just as his transfer was about to be finalized, so he had to wait for his favorite club to return for him.
Finally, in August 2020, he signed for Chelsea’s U-23 team, but he was sidelined almost immediately due to a torn meniscus. The center-back is gradually regaining fitness and has trained alongside first-team stars during the international break.
Thomas Tuchel even named him to Chelsea’s EFL Cup squad against Aston Villa. Of course, he did not get the chance to make his debut, but Tuchel’s belief in him is encouraging.
Number 1: Reece James
Chelsea right-back and England international Reece James serve as an inspiration to millions of aspiring football players around the world. For Chelsea academy students, however, he is already an icon, an example worthy of unwavering devotion.
James began his career at Chelsea when he was only six years old. He progressed through the youth ranks, overcoming every challenge to make his senior team debut for Chelsea in September 2019. The 21-year-old is a technically gifted full-back who can also play as a center-back or in the midfield.
He crosses well, moves quickly, and has surprisingly good close control. All of these abilities combine to make him Chelsea’s most promising U-21 player, and we can’t wait to see how his story develops.