As Chelsea and the Chelsea Academy continue gearing up for the new season, let's meet the four 17-year-old players who penned their first ever professional contracts -- all standard three-year deals -- with the Blues this week.
Here's a name that will be familiar to even casual observers of the youth teams, for Boga is easily a standout prospect even in an academy as loaded as Chelsea's. He joined back in 2008 as a 12-year-old (under somewhat interesting circumstances) and he's worked his way up quickly through the ranks. As a 16-year-old he was already spending most of his time with the under-21s, showing several flashes of that Eden Hazardian potential. In an ideal world, he should be ready to start dominating at the highest youth level right now.
Palmer moved across London from Charlton Athletic's youth team last April. He was ever-present in the U18 side last season (collecting the FA Youth Cup) but also found time to make cameos at older age levels including a substitute appearance the U21 Premier League Final against Manchester United U21. Comfortable with both feet and has excellent physical attributes; he's yet another potential example of the budding breed of modern, versatile midfielders.
The Palmer family win the hair game:
Dream come true to have signed my first professional contract at chelsea, proud day for me and my family! ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/tnlz2IROa6— Kasey (@Kasey_Palmer10) July 4, 2014
Next in our homegrown goalkeeper pipeline, Collins has been with Chelsea since age 12. Since Chelsea TV neglected to show any U18 Premier League matches last season, and Mitchell Beeney was the preferred goalkeeper for the FA Youth Cup run, I'm not very familiar with Collins. The Chelsea website describes him as a confident shot-stopper who is comfortable with his feet. Sounds like good attributes to have for modern football. He should be getting plenty of games this season and hopefully make himself more familiar to us.
The young defender combines excellent physical attributes with improving mental ones, he ended up captaining the under-18 side as a schoolboy towards the end of the season. He's been with Chelsea only since 2012, moving up from his hometown of Monaco. I heard that place ain't too shabby.
George looks the part:
Great fealing signing my pro contract , now can't wait to get down to work ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/b10uaf3Rla— george brady (@georgebrady04) July 4, 2014