Chelsea's U18 side took on Manchester United today, and lost the game 1-0. They played a fairly different side than the one that just returned from Italy, with only Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Alex Davey, and Kevin Wright having taken part in both games in Como.
There was some interesting news from the game, however, as an unfamiliar name took the pitch for Chelsea's side and played 65 minutes. Adi Viveash told us a bit about the previously unseen Kasey Palmer after the game, letting us know about Chelsea's new player:
'Palmer has joined us from Charlton on schoolboy forms and he is an exciting player who did well against us in the Youth Cup. He hasn't really trained for two weeks apart from a couple of days this week so to last 65 minutes at the intensity and quality he showed was pleasing.'
Palmer is a 1997 born schoolboy who was previously at Charlton Athletic, and was an impressive part of the team that played Chelsea in the FA Youth Cup earlier in the season. He can be seen wearing the #7 jersey for Charlton in the highlights:
Palmer has also featured regularly for England, mostly for the U16 side, but making his U17 debut in February. He seems to be a fairly versatile player, and played the midfield for Chelsea today.
The club doesn't usually put out press releases for academy signings this young, so I wouldn't hold your breath awaiting confirmation of the Palmer move on the Chelsea website. From the way Viveash was talking though, it sounds as if it's a permanent move. That shouldn't really be too surprising, as the EPPP that was put into practice this year is set up to encourage the top young talent in England to train together at the category 1 academies. Chelsea are a category 1 academy, while Charlton are classified as a category 2 training center.
Palmer is a long way from the Chelsea first team, but he's a obviously a talented youngster and will be worth keeping an eye on over the next several seasons. He will not be eligible to represent Chelsea in the FA Youth Cup semifinal on Friday (he's cup-tied with Charlton), but he'll likely feature for the U18 side in more league matches as he spends more time training with the side. To see highlights of Palmer and the rest of the U18 and U21 sides, I'd highly recommend subscribing to EskWeston's Youtube channel. Welcome to Chelsea Kasey, we can't wait to see more of you in action.