Will Gael Kakuta be the next academy star Chelsea sell?
Since Roman Abramovich took over Chelsea, many people have lamented the fact that, since John Terry, no player has come through the academy to make the first team.
I am a big fan of our academy and keep an eye on it. I think the current crop of players show signs of being able to make it if given time, experience and trust.
However, not all our recent academy players seem to be the beneficiaries of such gifts.
I'm going to highlight four particular cases where the Chelsea academy has produced a good talent but where the club has wrongly— in my eyes—sold the player.
As well as these four, there are other examples, including Slobodan Rajkovic (although work permit issues were a factor) and Jacopo Sala, who is doing well at Hamburg.
Chelsea signed Sinclair to their academy aged 16 for an initial £200,000 and he was pure gold for the under-18 team with 15 goals in 22 games.
His Chelsea career was started by Jose Mourinho in the League Cup against Wycombe. He then went on loan to Plymouth, where he scored this wonder goal.
He scored his first senior goal against Hull in the Carling Cup and had a major impact against Leicester, setting up a goal and causing trouble for the Foxes.
It was after this he was sent on loan and never really get back. He made four brief appearances for Scolari in 2008 before heading off to Wigan and Birmingham on loan.
He left in the summer of 2010 to link up with former Chelsea under-18 boss Brendan Rodgers at Swansea.
Sinclair was a key component in their push for promotion, scoring 19 goals, including a hat-trick in the playoff final.
He has also been a standout in the Premier League with seven goals, including one against Chelsea that handed Swansea a draw.
Right now, a lot of Chelsea fans are wishing they had a natural winger with pace who would take on an opponent—Sinclair would fit the bill.
He would likely start ahead of Kalou and Malouda and be a valuable option. Unfortunately, the only time a manager really seemed to make Sinclair feel wanted was Mourinho, and once he went, Sinclair never really got another opportunity.
Gokhan Tore joined our academy from Bayer Leverkusen aged 17. He can play in a variety of attacking positions.
He is a player I really wanted to see get some game time at Chelsea. He shone in both the reserve and U18 squad. He played 21 games for the U18s, scoring two, while bagging four in 22 games for the reserves. He finished with the most assists and was one of the standout players of the season, looking ready for the step up to the next level.
However, he was sold to Hamburg, along with head talent-scout Frank Arnesen.
Tore has basically been a star at Hamburg. He has devastating pace, something which he uses to good effect, resulting in him being a fan favourite. He has six assists in 15 Bundesliga games.
Guus Hiddink saw Tore while at Chelsea and thought he had serious potential, which led to him calling him up to the Turkish national side. He has made seven appearances for Turkey but will unfortunately not be appearing at Euro 2012.
It isn't all bad for Chelsea, as according to some websites, they still have 50 percent ownership while he is under his current contract. This means they can buy him back cheaply.
It would be nice to see Tore given a chance. His speed and skill would make him the perfect substitute—or perhaps even a starter if he impresses.
Miroslav Stoch was signed at 16 and was a star at youth level scoring 15 goals in 37 games from the wing.
He was promoted to the reserve team, where he was one of the standout players.
It was Phil Scolari who called him up to the first team. He came on against Arsenal to make his debut before making five more substitute appearances that season.
One notable performance came against Stoke when he came on in the 82nd minute with Chelsea 1-0 down. He provided spark that had been missing previously, pushing Chelsea to a 2-1 win.
He went on loan to Twente for the 2009/2010 campaign. In the first half of the season, he was one of the best players in the Eredivisie and although his play dropped off, he still scored the goal that won them the title, as well as nine others and three assists.
Since then, he has moved on to Fenerbahce, where he has so far impressed with 10 goals and four assists in 27 matches.
Chelsea could really do with Stoch to provide that spark off the bench. He can beat a man as well as whip in a good cross, qualities the Blues really miss.
He was a player I really liked and would rave about as our future. Unfortunately, it hasn't turned out that way.
Fabio Borini is another who moved to Chelsea at 16 from Bologna. He scored 15 goals in 25 games for the youth team.
He made his debut coming off the bench against Tottenham and featured eight times for Chelsea.
The little run of being placed on the bench was ended when he underwent a hernia operation.
After this, he joined Swansea on loan and made a significant contribution to their successful promotion bid, scoring six goals in nine appearances. In fact, he won a crucial penalty for the Swans in their 4-2 playoff final victory against Reading.
Borini left Chelsea in the summer of 2011, opting to join Parma. He wasn't there long, however, signing with Roma before the end of the summer transfer window.
He has 10 goals in 18 games and played very well against Italian giants Inter Milan. It was this performance which led to him winning his first international call-up, making his debut against the United States.
Borini is another attacker that Chelsea could really do with right now. Rather than Lukaku, who I see as the unfinished article and not really of Chelsea standard, Borini could provide goals as well as competition for Drogba and Torres to really get them fired up.