Chelsea’s Under-18 team have history in their sights this evening as they attempt to win the FA Youth Cup for a joint-record tenth occasion and inflict yet another defeat on Manchester City’s youngsters.
A win at St George’s Park would see the young blues crowned champions for the eighth time in the past 11 years and three of the four most recent wins have come against City.
A number of players will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Reece James by progressing from the underage showpiece to the big leagues.
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Football.london takes a look at three who are tipped to reach the heights.
The young defender has already appeared in a first-team matchday squad – the second leg of last season’s Champions League round of 16 defeat to Bayern Munich – and trained with Frank Lampard’s group on a number of occasions in the summer.
Born in Cameroon, he grew up in Southampton and joined Chelsea after impressing on trial as an Under-13.
“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.”
Perhaps the most familiar name to fans who only focus on first-team matters, the box-to-box midfielder joined the academy as an under-7, is captain of Brand’s side and has played in all but one game en route to the final.
He made two appearances for Lampard last season, coming off the bench against Grimsby in the EFL Cup and in the home win over Everton…