Chelsea have gone through a quiet transfer window where they have acquired just one major signing in the form of Jorginho. Despite this, there have been plenty of positives with the involvement of some of the younger players in pre-season and we look into three of them, who could make a lasting impression next term.
Three Chelsea youngsters to watch for next season:
Callum Hudson-Odoi: Despite being only 17, Hudson-Odoi has caught the eye of the Blues’ faithful with a strong showing in pre-season. In the absence of Eden Hazard, the teenager has been hugely influential on the left wing and he got the better of Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin in the recent friendly where he induced a penalty. Blues boss Maurizio Sarri would want to keep the attacker grounded heading into the new campaign but the youngster appears likely to start in the Community Shield game this weekend. Hudson-Odoi managed just a solitary assist in pre-season but he could have had another, had Alvaro Morata converted his penalty past Arsenal’s Petr Cech.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: Compared to Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek has decent experience playing in the Premier League following his season-long loan with Crystal Palace. Loftus-Cheek has been left frustrated with his limited gametime at Stamford Bridge despite breaking through the England ranks and the upcoming campaign may make or break his Blues career. Usually a central midfielder by trade, the 22-year-old has shown the versatility to play higher up the field and the opening weeks could give a clear indication whether he can command a regular role under the new manager.
Marcin Bulka: The 18-year-old goalkeeper has been one of the surprise packages during the pre-season tour, having started in two of the club’s three friendlies. The Pole was solid with his performances against Perth Glory and Inter Milan and he followed it up with a substitute appearance versus Arsenal where he made a sublime save to deny a clear-cut goal for Alex Iwobi. With Thibaut Courtois currently the first-choice, Bulka may have to settle for gametime in the Cup competitions, although it will be interesting to see whether Sarri would fancy him ahead of the experienced yet error-prone Willy Caballero in goal.
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