From John Terry and Carlton Cole in years gone past to Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount in more recent times, there has often been an abundance of quality youth players graduating from Cobham and staking their claim in the Chelsea first team.
Under the new Todd Boehly regime, this looks set to continue, with the highly-rated Travis Akomeah earning a place in The Guardian’s Next Generation 2022 list, which features the most highly-anticipated prospects that each Premier League club has to offer.
The centre-back was lured from Championship side Watford, who “knew what they had with Akomeah – a centre-half of great physical attributes”, according to The Guardian’s David Hytner.
Comfortable playing out from the back, as you need to be in a Graham Potter system, the club could save millions in transfer fees by trusting in someone who appears to be a prospective long-term replacement for the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, Kalidou Koulibaly and Thiago Silva.
Having made the move to Chelsea at the age where it counts, the 16-year-old – who is playing for the Blues’ under-18 side – has played three of the first four domestic games this season and has a UEFA Youth League start to his name as well, another incredible feat for the teenage gem.
Watford were apparently quite frustrated with the west Londoners’ ability to lure their youth product away at such a young age, with their loss looking as though it will result in a significant Blues gain in years to come.
Akomeah will be looking to continue his development in a bid to stake his claim in the Chelsea first team over the next few years, in a move which could benefit both his club and national team, with the rising talent plying his trade as an England international at under-16 level also.
We could be looking at a Chelsea and England superstar over the next few seasons if the 16-year-old maintains his early promise, with many Blues fans surely eager to track his progression in the youth setup to see if he will become an in-house modern-day defensive great in the mould of Terry, who like Akmoeah was renowned for his physical qualities and passing finesse.