After looking yesterday at the future of our defence, today we look at the midfield and attack, and why there are severeal reasons to be hopeful that the goals will be flying in at Stamford Bridge for a few years to come.
Left Wing – Kevin De Bruyne
After flying through the youth ranks of Belgian football, first at Gent, and then Racing Genk, he found himself established in the first-team at just 18, and has helped his team win the Belgian title already, so early in his career.
Chelsea secured the signing of the youngster for around £7m In January 2012, but was immediately loaned back out to Genk until the end of the season, as part of the agreement.
He made his debut for Belgium after just turning 19, and has gone on to get a further cap for the team, and Chelsea look to have to heart of Belgium’s future attack, as of course Eden Hazard is also on the books at Chelsea as of this summer.
He is well known for being able to create goals, as well as score them himself. He scored a hat-trick in a 5-4 defeat of Club Brugge, and has amassed a very credible 38 goals, and 36 assists, in 107 games for Genk.
He is likely to be used in the Chelsea set-up this season, and as they look to challenge in both domestic cups and abroad, hopefully he will pick up a lot of game time in the Chelsea colours.
Centre Midfield – Oriel Romeu
Starting with Barcelona as a 13 year old, there is no better place for a midfielder to learn the trade. He made one appearance for the first team, but was widely used in the Barcelona B set-up between the ages of 18 and 20.
Chelsea were quick to snap up the youngster in 2011, hours after a report had linked him with a move, he was already parading the shirt around the Bridge.
The holding midfielder signed a four year contract with Chelsea, for the sum of around €5m, although the Catalan side have a buy-back clause for him, either €10m this summer, or €15m next summer, should Chelsea wish to cash in.
That seems unlikely though, the midfielder has already picked up 15 games in the Chelsea blue, and looks to be used a lot more next season, as Michael Essien ages, and no-one is quite sure if Frank Lampard could last a marathon season should Chelsea compete in all competitions.
Centre Midfield – Josh McEachran
Josh has come through the youth ranks at Chelsea, and is a proper Stamford Bridge boy, being at the club since he was just 8 years old.
He made his debut for the club in the Champions League, and in doing so, became the first player to take part in it, that was born after it was created, showing his potential as just as 17 year old.
He has brilliant vision and composure on the ball, and is an almost certainty to take over from Frank Lampard when the Chelsea legend calls it a day. Although just making the 11 appearances so far for Chelsea, he was loaned out to Premier League new boys Swansea last season, who exceeding above expectation and survived comfortably.
Then manager Brendan Rodgers said of McEachran, “His talent is all there to see, its pure natural ability”
Along with Romeu, he is bound to be used a lot more this season, most likely in the domestic cup competitions I imagine, but don’t be surprised to see him name on the teamsheet next season.
Right Wing – Gael Kakuta
Kakuta has been on the Chelsea scene since he moved from Lens in 2007, and has since picked up a handful of first-team appearances, whilst having two spells at Premier League clubs, Fulham and most recently, Bolton Wanderers.
Although not setting the world alight yet on the big stage, he has continued to impress in the reserves, even since being awarded Academy Player of The Year at the Bridge, at the age of 16.
The French international has played at every level from U16-U21s, and scored a very impressive 15 goals from 45 games. Last season, he had a decent loan spell at French side Dijon, scoring five times in 14 games, and also getting two assists.
Although not yet making a mark on the Chelsea team, there is still a lot of time for the 21 year old to progress, and if he shows the potential he possessed when he joined us, he may well become a first team regular in the future.
Striker – Lucas Piazon
Chelsea beat off several European teams to sign the Brazilian wonderkid, a kid who only made the switch from indoor football to grass at aged 11.
He could cost up to £10m depending on several clauses, one bound to be relating to International progress, and is definitely going to be a hit at the Bridge.
His combined goals tally for the Brazilian U15s and U17s, is a massive 31 goals in just 22 games, blowing most players out of the water, on the way to helping the South American side to scoop the U17 World Cup in 2011.
He has scored four goals in nine appearances for the reserves, and picked up the Young Player of The Year award, whilst Chelsea were quick to secure a new contract with him until 2017.
Striker – Patrick Bamford
Snapped up in January this year from Nottingham Forest, the youngster has already taking youth football by storm, scoring 20 minutes into his debut for the England U19s, as well as scoring two on his Chelsea Reserves debut, including the winner in a 5-4 win over Wigan. He has netted six times in seven games so far for the reserves.
Goals have always been natural to Bamford, whilst at Forest, he scored five goals and set up three as his side demolished Wigan 9-1 in the FA Youth Cup, and a week later, smashed four as they beat Southampton 5-1.
Unfortunately, his exploits meant he was ineligible for Chelsea in the Youth Cup after they signed him weeks later, as we went on to pick up that trophy this season.
With the likes of Piazon, Lukaku, Sturridge and Torres around him, he is sure to be battling for a first-team place in the next few years, and certainly has players around him to learn the trade of.
By Brad Smith