There is no greater champion of the Chelsea Academy in the Chelsea ranks than John Terry. The Captain was the last Academy graduate to truly establish himself in the first-team, as we know all too well, and he's always been keen to ensure that Chelsea carry on (well, restart, to be more precise) that tradition. Especially now, that the Academy is chock-full of amazing talent.
One such homegrown prospect is 18-year-old defender Jake Clarke-Salter. Born 10 miles from Stamford Bridge, Clarke-Salter celebrated a decade in the Chelsea system with his surprise senior debut against Aston Villa two weeks ago. With commitments at FA Youth Cup, UEFA Youth League, and U21 Premier League level, and with the health of the Chelsea first-team slowly improving, Clarke-Salter may not feature again this season, but Terry's hoping that the substitute appearance against Villa is just the start of what should be great things to come from the young man.
"Jake has a great attitude. I remember watching him a couple of years ago being in control of the game and a really vocal player. He reminds me a bit of myself."
"He is doing great and I hope he goes on to take my position and get in the first team. It was great for him to make his debut. I was disappointed I wasn't there to support him because I missed the game [through injury]. But watching it from home, I was delighted."
-John Terry; source: Evening Standard
Big shoes to fill. No pressure then, Jake.