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Izzy Brown (re-)joins Chelsea youth parade, lights up Championship

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Back on track

Derby County v Luton Town - Sky Bet Championship - Pride Park Photo by Barrington Coombs/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

Everywhere we turn, Chelsea youth are taking over. (Or, as the great poet of the great white north once put it, who that there huh everywhere we go?)

Izzy Brown is no exception.

The versatile Chelsea attacker, currently on loan at Luton Town, can be spotted right near the top of the Championship assist charts. He’s either tied for the lead with 5 assists, or is one behind Matheus Pereira — depending on who you ask. We’ll go with the former. (Former Chelsea youth John Swift also making an appearance at the seven spot below.)

2019-20 Championship assist leaders
WhoScored

All five of Brown’s assists have come in his last six games, prompting Luton Town boss Graeme Jones into some rather unqualified praise.

“He’s effective [...] off the ball as well [...] I think he’s benefited from playing in a midfield three because he had to take that responsibility on board. Now as a number 10 it’s a bit easier, but he’s never let the side down once off the ball.

”On the ball Izzy Brown’s a Premier League player, so we’re delighted to have him and in the form that he’s in.”

-Graeme Jones; source: Dunstable Today

Of course, Brown has been here before. He was very highly regarded as a teen, and his switch from West Brom’s academy to Chelsea’s in 2013 — partially enabled by the introduction of the EPPP — even stirred up some bad vibes and controversy in the Midlands. Brown, barely 16 at the time, had already become the second youngest player in Premier League history by then, but at Chelsea, he slotted into the youth ranks instead, where he eventually captained the U19s to the UEFA Youth League title (a match that also featured Andreas Christensen, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tammy Abraham, with Fikayo Tomori an unused substitute). That same season, Izzy even made his Chelsea debut for José Mourinho’s title-winners. But that was 2015, and that meant the debut was just an 11-minute cameo, after which the Loan Army beckoned.

A decent season at Vitesse was followed by a good half-season at Rotherham, and then an even better half-season at Huddersfield Town, where he was instrumental in the Terriers achieving promotion to the Premier League. Brown himself would get a taste of Premier League football again, this time with Brighton, but a succession of major injuries, including an ACL, meant that he would play just 17 games (and only 6 starts) in two seasons. He spent last season at Leeds United, where he almost exclusively played for their U23s, which is surely against every Loan Army tenet there is.

Brown briefly popped up at Chelsea training camp this preseason, but he clearly needed another loan. Fortunately, this time things appear to be working out much, much better. He’s failed to feature in just one game since joining, and has started seven of the last eight in the league.

Now 22, going on 23, Izzy Brown’s career looks back on track. He has two years left on his Chelsea contract, and while the boat may have sailed on his Blues career, his future is once again looking quite bright.