With Frank Lampard looking to introduce youth players into the first-team next season, it is crucial that they get the support they require from their senior counterparts.
There are three senior players I believe will be crucial in helping the youth players bed in and make the smooth transition from second tier/youth football to the monster that is the Premier League.
Cesar Azpilicueta, N’golo Kante, and Olivier Giroud are three players who I believe have both the ability and the experience to lead Chelsea’s new revolution under Lampard and ensure a smooth transition.
Olivier Giroud and N’golo Kante have both recently won the World Cup with the France national team. This is a valuable experience which can be passed on to the Chelsea youth players ahead of Chelsea’s return to Champions League football, where they will surely be tested.
However, it’s more than just their title-winning experience that makes Kante and Giroud the perfect senior players to lead the youth players next season. Both players have experienced turbulent rises to the top of world football. Giroud and Kante made late rises through the lower leagues of French football, with the diminutive midfielder Kante only having played in the Ligue 2 a mere six years ago.
In defence, Azpilicueta has been a stalwart for Chelsea for a number of years. Despite suffering a difficult campaign last season, in the past, you would never have seen the Spaniard drop his level of performances as he retained a level of consistency. As well as his consistency, the 29-year-old has displayed versatility, playing across the defence at right-back, left-back and centre-back. As a young defender, there would be no better player to learn from than someone who is versatile and consistent. The two features of Azpilicueta’s game makes him the perfect senior defender for youth players to follow.
The Spanish international isn’t just limited to his performances, with Azpilicueta enjoying serial success throughout his Chelsea career. The Spaniard has won six trophies since joining Chelsea in 2012 from French club Marseille, the most of any Chelsea player currently in the first-team squad.
Azpilicueta, Giroud and Kante have all enjoyed successful careers which could act as examples for the youth of Chelsea. All three need to be regulars for Chelsea next season as their experiences will be key.