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Season Preview Part 3

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In the third and final part of the Youth and Reserves season preview the focus will be placed on the players who are expected to go out on loan and the players who are expected to be part of the first team this season. This is without doubt the hardest part of the Youth and Reserves to discuss because as we stand it is very difficult to know, and it is open to opinion until the decisions are made by Carlo Ancelotti, Frank Arneson and Neil Bath.

This is a group of players who are in an older age bracket and it could be said that it is make or break time for these players. But is that even the case? The players are Franco Di Santo, Scott Sinclair, Michael Mancienne, Jack Cork, Ryan Bertrand and Sam Hutchinson. The question is, is it impossible for any of these players to make a season long loan and do enough to get chances is the 2011/2012 season? I think the answer to that is that it isn’t impossible. If any of these players were to go to a Premiership club and have a great season they could most certainly have a chance to force their way in next season.

The next question is should they need another loan? Personally speaking I think some of these players are ready now to be part of the first team squad. Sam Hutchinson’s fitness problems mean a loan for him is pretty much out of the question and he is good enough to make first team appearances, so I think that is exactly what he will do. Also I think that Jack Cork and Ryan Bertrand have the quality and the space in the first team squad to be useful and to get enough games for us. Jack Cork has done well everywhere and impressed a lot at Burnley last season, and Ryan Bertrand has also had a number of very successful loan spells. The other players futures are less clear for various reasons and even with the ones already mentioned there is no guarantee of where they will be this season.

The next thing to discuss is any players that might go on loan. Should any of the players above go on loan it should be to a Premiership or top level European club as anything lower will be of no benefit to them making it at Chelsea. But there are more players who could be going on loan. Rhys Taylor has already found himself a loan move to Crewe, and with the hope that while he gets his chance he can do enough to warrant a longer loan move. As of the time of writing this no-one else has gone on loan but surely more will go.

Some players fall into a bracket of possibly staying on with Carlo and going on loan, the call is 50/50. Players like Jeffrey Bruma, Patrick Van Aanholt, Fabio Borini. Others like Daniel Philliskirk and Ben Gordon will be either looking for loan moves with a view to moving permanently or moving permanently now. And then there are players like Jan Sebek, Conor Clifford, Jacob Mellis, Jacopo Sala and Michael Woods who are all good candidates for going on loan. Although it may be a little too soon for Clifford and Sala.

Finally who is going to be part of the First team? Carlo has already said that a number of young players will be involved next season. Let’s assume that Sturridge and Matic do not count as they were bought for the first team. So who do we think we can expect involvement from? Obviously anyone or all from the first batch of players mentioned could be involved, as could Bruma, Van Aanholt or Borini. One player who it seems will be involved and one who would be a very popular choice is Gael Kakuta, having made a number of appearances last season and having had a lot of success at the U19’s tournament I think he is certain for a lot more game time this season.

Also it seems that young Josh McEachran will have a lot of involvement this season, having been involved from the start of the whole of pre-season so far and being one of two young players mentioned so far as travelling to Germany for the two games out there. With his obvious talent it seems the club want to bring him in already.

Obviously all these choices rest on Carlo’s shoulders and it could be any of the players mentioned involved with the first team this season. The new Premier League rules mean that more Youth involvement is a certain, but what isn’t certain is who is to be involved. We will have to wait and see and in a month’s time we will know for sure. What is for sure is that it is bound to be another exciting season for young Chelsea players at every single level.

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