Young Tino Anjorin is one of several prospects at Chelsea youth level with a bright future ahead. The 19-year-old attacking midfielder was one of the players granted a senior level debut by manager Frank Lampard last season, and he got more first-team opportunities earlier this term with substitute appearances against Krasnodar in the Champions League group stage, and in our two first FA Cup matches against Morecambe and Barnsley respectively.
With the U23 squad, Anjorin has been a force to be reckoned with. So much so that he earned the recognition of Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel, who got the young player to participate in our preparations for the upcoming FA Cup quarterfinal bout against Sheffield United this Sunday,
“I got to know Tino, I did not know much of him and I got to know him here. From the first day, I was very impressed because he is a very physical player. Tall guy, strong guy. He has the ability to keep the ball under pressure because he has the body for it. He has the physical ability to play and train with us at this level.
“He has some minutes against Barnsley in the cup game and we try to involve him in the group against Sheffield because he trains very well.”
The most common path for a Chelsea player such as Anjorin who is still taking his initial steps as a footballer is to move out on loan, as a way to get him as much professional football experience under his belt as possible before having a shot at glory at Stamford Bridge. But the club decided to do otherwise last winter, keeping him around to perhaps find a shortcut into our first-team — if he able to, as one Callum Hudson-Odoi did a few years ago.
“We decided to keep him to get to know him better. Not to give him on loan or find another solution for him in winter. I am happy about that. I feel he is very strong in finishing his training. He is a very nice character.
“[He’s] a nice guy from the academy, another nice guy, very humble and at the same time totally focused, totally clear when you talk to him. Very self-aware. It is a pleasure to work with him. He has both feet on the ground and he’s here.
“I feel very grateful that he has this chance to learn at this level and be part of a strong team. I am happy with him and he needs to be patient and impatient at the same time which is always the target for the young guys at the club.”
-Thomas Tuchel; Source: Goal
It is no easy task breaking into our first-team without a loan first. But that is also a privilege granted by the club to those who we believe have it in them to do so in the first place.
Now it is time for Anjorin to prove the team was right in their assessment, perhaps as soon as tomorrow if he has the opportunity to take on the Blades alongside the “old boys” in the club.