The pipeline of talent at the Chelsea Academy is seemingly inexhaustible these days. The next name coming down the assembly line is Tariq Lamptey, and if we weren’t paying attention before, after yesterday, we are all ears. Well, eyes.
Take it away, Tariq! (The following two highlights are from England U19’s 6-2 win over Macedonia. Callum Hudson-Odoi captained the side and also scored.)
The first skill, the dragback 180 spin, is excellent enough, but words defy what happens in the second highlight. How he manages to keep control of the ball while weaving between the defenders may be unclear even to him! But keeping control he does, all the way through the nice finish with his weaker foot. You would be hard-pressed to believe that he scored only once all last season, despite leading Jody Morris’s quadruple-winning U18s with 33 appearances and contributing with 11 assists.
Lamptey, like most of the Academy’s best, has been with Chelsea since an early age. He’s a true millennial (born in the year 2000 in London) of Ghanaian descent, and joined the Academy at the under-7 level. He signed his first professional deal last September when he turned 17. Ostensibly a right back, his diminutive size, exceeding quickness, and tremendous feet could serve him well further forward, as these jaw-dropping clips surely demonstrate.
In far less impressive international action, Eden Hazard got to rest for the entire second half as Belgium drew 1-1 with the Netherlands in a friendly, but neither N’Golo Kanté nor Olivier Giroud were so lucky in France’s 2-1 come-from-behind win over Germany in the Nations League. Griezmann scored both goals for the World Cup champions after the hour-mark, while surely the clock is ticking over Jogi Low’s time in charge of Die Mannschaft.
Andreas Christensen also got some playing time, about an hour in Denmark’s 2-0 win over Austria, while loanees Michy Batshuayi and Ola Aina featured for their respective countries as well. The official Chelsea website has a run-down of all the other youth in international action as well, featuring another new name to remember for the future, Valentino Livramento, who was already making headlines at age 11 (that link isn’t broken, unlike the one in the tweet below).