Chelsea have become known as the kings of the FA Youth Cup in recent times, winning the competition in six of the last eight seasons.

With just the semi-finals and final to play, Chelsea and fellow semi-finalists Manchester United, Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers will play out their final-four clashes at St. Georges’ Park, with the final set to be played at the same venue on Monday.

United are Chelsea’s opponents in the semis, with the west London outfit out for revenge after losing in the third round to a Mason Greenwood-inspired Red Devils in the 2018-19 competition.

The current Chelsea youngsters know all too well that winning this competition can boost their chances of earning first-team football, with the likes of Mason Mount, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi having lifted the trophy in the past.

And though they will be without key men Armando Broja and Ian Maatsen after the pair left on loan to earn first-team experience over the summer, there is still plenty of talent for Frank Lampard to keep a keen eye on…

Signed in January from Tromso,17-year-old Fiabemahas become Chelsea’s leading striker within their academy structure followingthedeparture of Broja to Vitesse.

The Norway Under-17 international already has five goals in six games this season, including four in as many appearances for the club’s U23s, with hiscombination of speed, power and eye for goal marking him out as being a nightmare for any opposition defenders to deal with.

Nineteen-year-old Lawrence has already caught the eye of Lampard, with the former England midfielder having called the youngster up to join in first-team training when football returned from lockdown over the summer.

The versatile right-back played in several friendlies ahead of the Premier League’s resumptionand then again in pre-season against Brighton at the Amex Stadium.

Lawrence is now set tosign a new three-year contractwith the club as he aims to add an FA Youth Cup winners’ medal to the one he claimed for playing a key role in theU23s’Premier League 2title-winning campaign last term.

Despite having only just turned 18 on Thursday, Bate has already had a taste of being part of the first-team squad after twice being an unused substute last season.

He would have been one of Chelsea’s youngest-ever debutantshad he got onto the pitch, and it is felt that it is only a matter of time before he is given an opportunity by Lampard.

The diminutive central midfielder has been likened to Mateo Kovacic for his dribbling abillty. That along with progressive passingand eye for goal mark him out as a dangerous player in the final third.

Chelsea do notjust produce attacking players, with 18-year-oldDynel Simeu having marked himself out as a true defensive leader.

The captain of the current U18s side, Simeu was born in Cameroon but grew up in Southampton before being signed by Chelsea at the age of 13.

An England youth international, Simeu is able to match his physical attributes with an ease when in possession, ensuring he has all the capabilities to make it as a modern-day defender.

With Billy Gilmour now a fully-fledged member of Lampard’s first-team squad, Anjorin is now regarded as the best player currently within Chelsea’s academy structure.

The 18-year-old midfielder has already played twice in the first-teamand signed a new five-year deal with the club in April.


Source : goal.com


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