5 Chelsea Youngsters to Look Forward to

Garry HayesFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2014

5 Chelsea Youngsters to Look Forward to

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    Chelsea reached their third FA Youth Cup final in three years last week when they dispatched Arsenal 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

    It gave the Blues' youngsters a 3-1 aggregate victory, having won their home leg 2-1, and reaffirmed the growing reputation of the club's academy.

    They now face Fulham in a West London derby in a two-legged final.

    Still, not since since John Terry has a youth product established himself at Stamford Bridge, and fans are no doubt hoping at least one of the current crop will go on to emulate Terry's success.

    Bleacher Report lists five players who very well could.

Isaiah Brown

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    The 17-year-old Isaiah Brown—or Izzy as he is known to his teammates—appeared from the bench in Chelsea's semi-final, second-leg victory over Arsenal last week.

    Don't let that create the wrong impression, though. The former West Bromwich Albion youngster is one of the most talented midfielders in the Blues' youth set-up, with comparisons to Eden Hazard not too far off the mark.

    Of course, he has a lot to do if he is ever to reach the level of Chelsea's current No. 17, but with his pace and guile, Brown certainly has the potential.

    He was only signed last summer from the Baggies and is a player very much in the current Chelsea mould—agile, smart in possession and with enough trickery to cause problems for the opposition in the final third.

Alex Kiwomya

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    Alex Kiwomya will turn 18 in May, but he is already proving a big success at Chelsea.

    Such has been his impact for the Under-18s that he was signed to a professional contract with the Blues in December 2013.

    He continues to impress, too, scoring the winning goal in the first leg of the Youth Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge, giving Chelsea the platform to see the tie out at the Emirates.

    The youngster, whose uncle Kris once played for the Gunners, can play as a lone striker or on the left, where he has often proved dangerous,

    Kiwomya has also featured for England's Under-17s and Under-21s.

Dominic Solanke

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    Born in September 1997, now as his school mates are preparing to take their GCSEs, Dominic Solanke is creating waves at Stamford Bridge.

    Still only 16, the Chelsea striker should be worrying about exams, but he's got plenty more on his mind, including the FA Youth Cup final.

    Solanke has 18 goals for Chelsea's Under-18s this season, putting him clear of any other striker at the club.

    Seen as an out-and-out No. 9 or capable of sitting just behind the main striker in the No. 10 role, he has been with the club's academy since he was nine.

    Despite his relative youth, he has also been given minutes in Chelsea's Under-21s team this year, appearing three times from the bench.

    His stats alone whet the appetite, but with his athleticism and pace, Solanke is certainly one to watch for in the future.

Charlie Colkett

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    Pictured on the right of our image above, Charlie Colkett has stamped his authority on the Chelsea youth team in recent weeks.

    He not only pulled Chelsea level in the first leg of the FA Youth Cup semi-final against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge but was also on hand to score the only goal at the Emirates to give Chelsea a 3-1 aggregate victory.

    Colkett is another player who has risen through the various levels of the Chelsea academy, joining the Under-11s to eventually be taken on as a full-time scholar.

    The midfielder may do most of his work at the opposite end of the pitch, but he has plenty in common with current club captain John Terry.

    Like the former England international, Colkett is from London's East End and grew up not too far from West Ham United's Upton Park stadium.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

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    The senior member of the Chelsea team that has reached the FA Youth Cup final, Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been a regular for the Under-21s this term, making 25 appearances.

    Drafted into the Under-18s to utilise his experience in the Youth Cup run, he has demonstrated all the qualities that have ensured he's remained on the radar of the Chelsea first team—strength, control and a wisdom beyond his years.

    Playing in central midfield, he is an imposing figure and has captained the youth team at various stages this season.

    It says a lot about his ability that while he's still eligible for the Under-18s, he's been preferred at a higher level, helping Under-21s coach Dermot Drummy guide his team to the top of their league.

    Loftus-Cheek was a part of Chelsea's post-season tour to the US last year, playing against Manchester City (pictured above).

    Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @garryhayes