Much has been made of Manchester United’s ‘Class of ‘92’. The FA Youth Cup winning side of 1992 included David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Gary Neville. They were defeated the next year, 1993, by Leeds United, in a side including Paul Scholes and Phil Neville.
By 1995, they collectively broke into the United side which overhauled Newcastle United’s 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League to win the title. Alan Hansen was famously proved wrong and the rest, as they say, is history with the ‘Class of 92’ featuring in a trophy haul over the next 10 years that almost defied belief. United’s home-grown youngsters were the backbone of arguably one of the most successful English sides the game has seen.
Many have said this can never be repeated, presumably Alan Hansen among them. With the increased money in the game and the reliance on international superstars making it even harder for young British talent to break through in the top English sides, this would be a sensible presumption.
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Could Chelsea prove the doubters wrong and confound history in the same way that United’s ‘Class of 92’ did?
The signs are looking ominously good.
Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James, Fikayo Tomori and Billy Gilmour contributed to consecutive FA Youth Cup wins for Chelsea between 2015 and 2018 (United’s ‘Class of 92’ only managed one!).
They all broke through to Chelsea’s first team last season, as much due to necessity as well as ability, due to the UEFA imposed transfer ban.
The big question this season, with the arrival of world class international players, was whether or not they would be able to step up and retain their places in the team.
Well, the answer thus far would appear to be yes. In fact, Chelsea’s opening goal…