Chelsea Academy's recent successes are impressive in and of themselves, but one of the cooler aspects of it all is that we're getting it done with almost all the kids being eligible for English national teams. For example, every single player who helped us win this year's UEFA Youth League (U19) and FA Youth Cup (U18) finals is eligible for England, though some, like Fikayo Tomori are currently playing for other nations.
Chelsea have won the UEFA Youth League and FA Youth Cup double again, this time with matchday squads where EVERYONE is England eligible.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) April 27, 2016
The trend isn't completely new either, and it holds true in older age groups as well. To wit, here's England U21's squad for next week's Toulon Tournament, where they will face Portugal, Japan, Paraguay, and Guinea and perhaps a final or third-place match should they do well enough.
Lewis Baker, Nathaniel Chalobah, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Kasey Palmer, and John Swift have all gotten Gareth Southgate's call. Nice to see Palmer in there for the first time, fresh off his appearance on the substitutes bench midweek. Last year, a squad featuring Baker and Swift finished fourth after losing to the USA in the third-place match.
As we know, the trick is of course to try to integrate some of these talented kids into the first-team, a process that has proven to be a real struggle for Chelsea. But as the summer transfer window ramps up and the club gets linked to all sorts of high profile players from various club across Europe, maybe we just have to look inwards for a solution.