Chelsea’s sporting directors think home grown talent is “in front of” Brazilian import

Chelsea’s policy since the new ownership took over has been to refresh the first team squad, while also building up a huge stock of young players to filter into the first team over time, or be sold on for a profit.

We’ve seen numerous examples of all this, from Andrey Santos and Cesare Casadei to the yet to arrive superstars Kendry Paez and Estevao Willian.

But amongst all this, the academy can get forgotten. And that’s a pity for Chelsea fans, who have taken great pride and great pleasure from seeing Cobham boys achieve great things in the first team after being entirely home grown. It adds a whole new dimension to enjoying your team win games.

Josh Acheampong in action against Tottenham.

Academy plans must retain their importance

So the little snippet in the Athletic’s long read about the academy about one future Cobham star will be very heartening. Among all of the exciting and exotic players coming in from all over the world, it seems one home grown star won out:

“Part of [co-sporting directors] Laurence and Winstanley’s remit is to more closely integrate the academy, creating and maintaining pathways for the best products to transition to the first team, ideally without the need for loan spells elsewhere. One reason Sport Recife defender Pedro Lima is choosing between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Strasbourg rather than Wolves and Chelsea this summer is because Josh Acheampong, who made his Premier League debut against Tottenham Hotspur in May, is viewed internally as being in front of him.”

Acheampong is a player we’ve all been getting really excited about, and while Lima looks a good prospect too, we can’t deny we will get more satisfaction from seeing Josh forging his way into the first team picture rather than losing him to a rival and giving an import a go instead.

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