Dynel Simeu was named on Chelsea’s substitutes bench for tonight’s Champions League round of 16 second leg away to Bayern Munich but it is fair to say some supporters will have not come across the academy product’s name before.
While Armando Broja and Ian Maatsen have already made their first-team debuts, less is known about Simeu.
So football.london is here to provide a short explainer about the teenager.
Born in Cameroon, the 18-year-old centre back grew up in Southampton and joined the Chelsea academy at under-13 level after impressing in trials.
He has progressed gradually through the ranks and signed his first professional contract with the club in spring of last year.
Simeu, who has been given the number 66 shirt, has been capped at underage level by England and spent much of the past season playing for both the under-18 team and Andy Myers’s development squad.
He is comfortable on the ball, has plenty of pace and has been training with the first team since the restart.
“I came from a Sunday league team in Southampton and with my background I didn’t know many footballers and didn’t even know how Chelsea Academy worked, I thought playing here was unrealistic,” he told the club’s in-house media channel earlier this year.
“I admired Portsmouth and Southampton because that’s all I knew, I always dreamed of becoming a footballer but my family and I never thought it was realistic, then when I got the chance everything happened quickly and it was unbelievable.”
Chelsea fell behind to an early Robert Lewandowski penalty, making it 4-0 to Bayern on aggregate. You can follow all the action here in our live blog.