Lampard to Chelsea: The Blues youngsters hoping for their big break

Frank Lampard is officially back at Chelsea and the new head coach could bring about a culture change.

The prevailing belief is that Lampard's return will see the Blues' numerous academy talents belatedly get an opportunity in the first team in the 2018-19 season.

Chelsea are facing a transfer ban and the arrival of Jody Morris - their former youth coach - as Lampard's assistant means there is in-depth knowledge on several previously unheralded youngsters.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi had to stay patient before enjoying breakout campaigns under Maurizio Sarri, but who will Lampard and Morris turn to?

We take a look at the young men most likely to be in the mix for a Chelsea chance.



Right-back James is just 19 years old, but it seems inevitable he will be plying his trade in the Premier League in the coming season - with Chelsea or out on loan. The England Under-20 international spent 2018-19 at Wigan Athletic and was one of the Championship's standout defenders, reportedly catching the eye of Manchester United and Liverpool.

Brighton and Hove Albion are said to hold an interest in a Premier League loan, yet a strong pre-season might see him stay at Stamford Bridge.



A defender Lampard knows and trusts, Tomori enjoyed an exceptional season as a regular in the heart of Derby County's defence. The Rams were beaten in the Championship play-off final, but Tomori's athletic displays were central in their run to that stage.

Gary Cahill has departed, Antonio Rudiger is recovering from a knee injury and David Luiz will turn 33 this term. Tomori could soon get his opportunity.



Mount was team-mates with Tomori at Derby and was so impressive that he earned a senior England call-up alongside Borussia Dortmund starlet Jadon Sancho in October last year.

Now 20 and with two full senior seasons under his belt, the midfielder will believe he is ready for the Chelsea first team. Lampard, himself a goalscoring midfielder, seems the perfect man to oversee the transition in the coming season.



It might be now or never for striker Abraham. Having torn up the Championship twice with Bristol City and Aston Villa but failed to regularly fire in the Premier League for Swansea City, some fear the 21-year-old is not cut out for the top flight.

But given Chelsea's striking problems since Diego Costa departed in 2017, the ambitious two-cap England international appears as well positioned as any Blues youngster to be given a shot.



There are others still waiting for their big chance, too. Jake Clarke-Salter endured a miserable time at Sunderland but now captains England Under-21s and remains on Chelsea's books.

Meanwhile, Ethan Ampadu is still just 18 yet has already excelled for Wales and was handed the occasional opportunity in cup games in 2018-19, having debuted in the league the previous season.

However, Jay Dasilva - another England Under-21 regular - has given up on his hopes of making the grade at Stamford Bridge, sealing a permanent switch to Bristol City in June.

Read Full Story