Not many Chelsea fans saw the talent of Ruben Sammut, who recently left the club to join Sunderland’s youth academy on a free transfer. This brings a long association to an end, as Sammut has been with Chelsea since the age of eight.
There is a lot of excitement surrounding Chelsea at this moment after the return of Frank Lampard. The Chelsea legend comes back as a manager and this promises exciting times for the blues – especially the youngsters who have been starved of limelight at the club.
Chelsea may have invested heavily in youth even from the start of the Roman Abramovich era, but very few youngsters have actually made it to the first team on a regular basis. There been a change in this situation with managers like Maurizio Sarri giving youngsters more opportunity largely due to the lack of a transfer budget. Yet, the appointment of Lampard has given the biggest hope that Chelsea youngsters may finally get the chance that they have deserved for a long time.
Sammut never got to feature for the blues despite coming through the ranks at the club. Yet, that is not the case with the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi. The players have been featuring more in the first team and the upcoming campaign could be of even greater help to their progression. Joe Edwards is one of those backroom staff working in the Lampard. Crucially, he has coached players like Tammy Abraham, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and Mason Mount at various stages of their young careers.
It is the presence of these names that make Sammut highly confident that Chelsea’s approach towards youngsters may finally change. According to Goal, he said:
“If there was ever a time to be an academy player and you hear the news that they are coming then it is a very exciting time. Even Chelsea fans should be excited. This talent has been locked away and hopefully, they can come out and shine now.”
Hudson-Odoi is one player who will be given special attention by Lampard. The 18-year-old was subjected to intense interest from Bayern Munich back in January and the Germans renewed their interest with a fresh offer a few weeks ago. The youngster has less than a year left on his contract, as he has consistently wanted to leave Chelsea in the search of regular first-team football. Even though the exit of Eden Hazard may have provided an opportunity for the likes of Hudson-Odoi, the Belgian is likely to be replaced by Christian Pulisic. Lampard has to convince Hudson-Odoi about giving himself more time at Chelsea than choosing other clubs.
Mason Mount has been at Chelsea since the age of six but he has never played a senior game for the club. It is almost a similar case with Fikayo Tomori, who has been at the club since under-8 levels. Interestingly, both players were singled out by Lampard in his first interview as the Chelsea boss. Lampard has managed both Mount and Tomori in his single-season as a manager with Derby.
The road may have been dark and tough for Chelsea youngsters up until now with one loan spell being followed by the other. However, there finally appears to be light at the end of the tunnel with Frank Lampard bearing the touch.