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Are Chelsea starting to place more of an emphasis on youth?

While all of the newspapers tend to concentrate on Chelsea’s major acquisitions, few people realise that the Blues have invested heavily in their academy over recent campaigns. As well as bringing their facilities up to a superb standard, the Blues have spent significant money on several youngsters to fit into their academy system. We’ll now have a look at some of the recent additions to the academy squad.

Islam Feruz

At just 17-years-old, there is plenty of hope resting on the career of Islam Feruz. The striker has been capped at U16, U17, U19, U20 and U21 level for Scotland and having impressed at all levels, most expect him to make the breakthrough into the first team in the next few years. He actually started his career at Celtic and incredibly made an appearance for the Scottish giants when he was just 14-years-old. Many of Europe’s top clubs were tracking him at this point, although it was Chelsea who succeeded as they agreed a contract with the player after he rejected a deal with the Glasgow outfit. It’s understood that the club shelled out around £300,000 for him in 2011 and the fact that they reportedly handed him a contract worth £2,500 per week probably deterred many rivals.

Patrick Bamford

This is probably one of the club’s more high profile recruits. There was plenty of attention when 18-year-old Patrick Bamford made the switch to Stamford Bridge, after the club reportedly paid Nottingham Forest £1.5m for his services. This came after several impressive performances in the Forest youth teams, where he made his mark as one of the club’s most potent strikers.

Lucas Piazón

However, when it comes to transfer fees, few clubs have invested as much as the Blues did in Brazilian striker Lucas Piazón. Reports indicated that the Blues paid around £5m for the then 17-year-old, after he had caught the attention of plenty of clubs around Europe with some impressive displays for various youth teams. He has already scored nine goals in fifteen appearances for the Brazil U17 team, although it’s understood that Chelsea’s main aim is to nurture him through the youth team over the next couple of years.

Ben Gordon

While we don’t know exactly how much Chelsea invested to bring Ben Gordon to Stamford Bridge, it’s thought they still paid considerable compensation to his former club Leeds. The left back has made solid progress in the club’s academy and has been farmed out on loan to various lower league teams in a bid to gain further experience. He now finds himself on loan at Birmingham and if reports are to believe, it won’t be long until the Blues’ initial investment is paid off and he makes in impact in the Chelsea first team.

Thorgan Hazard

This was one player that did grab the headlines following his move to the Blues, probably because he is the brother of Eden Hazard. However, it wasn’t just his family connections that made Chelsea invest in the 19-year-old, with the player regarded as a huge prospect after representing Belgium at every level from the under-15’s. Just like all of the other players mentioned, the next step in Hazard’s career is to gain experience as he completes a loan spell at Zulte Waregem.

Author Biography

Liam is the author of one of the best betting sites on the internet. As well as football, he also likes to write about rugby league, tennis and golf.

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