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Ajax Amsterdam prodigy one of ten new scholars at Chelsea Academy

Their names will no doubt soon be familiar to us, as the incoming Chelsea Academy class of 2016 begin their youth team journey.

For now, the likes of Jamie Cumming (goalkeeper), Conor Gallagher, Marc Guehi, Reece James, George McEachran (younger brother of Josh), Zach Medley, Dujon Sterling (the one exception, who's already taken star turns in the U18 and U19 teams), Martell Taylor-Crossdale, Tariq Uwakwe are all blank books, ready to be filled with our homegrown hopes and dreams and expectations.

If you're counting, you'll know that we're one short of the announced ten.  The tenth is a kid named Juan Familia-Castillo, whose name been shortened to just Juan Castillo by Chelsea official.  He's easily to most high profile intake this year, with stories appearing regularly in the Mail, Express, and others about his pursuit by Chelsea.  The 16-year-old comes from Ajax's famed academy, and he's the only "foreign" import in this Academy class.

In fact, as the excellent @chelseayouth points out, seven of the ten have been with Chelsea for almost a decade already.  Here's a picture of them, circa 2008.

Some proper young players right there. How the hell did we let Tay have hair like that !!!!

A photo posted by Nick (@nickmunroe1975) on

Coming up together as one, just like the class(es) above them who are slowly reaching first-team playing age.  Incidentally, the kid in the front row, first from the right is currently in the Barcelona system!

If you want to get a bit more familiar with these kids, be sure to check out Chelsea official or, better yet, @chelseayouthhimself over at TheChels.

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