The Candidates to Be the Final English Member of Jose Mourinho's Chelsea Squad

Garry HayesFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2014

The Candidates to Be the Final English Member of Jose Mourinho's Chelsea Squad

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    Jose Mourinho has been discussing Chelsea's future this week and one major talking point is who will be the one additional English player he wants and needs to add to his squad.

    "I need an English player in my squad and I have to make a decision about that," he told the club's website.

    It's all about quotas and Chelsea must draft in one additional homegrown player to complete their squad and be in line with Premier League regulations, with a senior player also having to be axed to ensure they fall in line.

    Chelsea have seemingly finished with their transfer business ahead of the new season, so that player will come from the club's academy.

    And after all the good work behind the scenes in recent years, Mourinho has plenty of talent to choose from.

    "In this moment I start to have this feeling that our academy is bringing players to our level," he continued.

    Indeed, Mourinho has utilized the Chelsea academy well this summer, deploying many youngsters in his line-ups while the senior stars have been recuperating after the World Cup.

    Bleacher Report takes a look at the English contingent to see who should make the step up to be considered for the first team.

     

Izzy Brown

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    It's been a productive pre-season for Izzy Brown.

    From scoring two goals against Wycombe Wanderers in Chelsea's opening game, he has featured in every match since.

    He even started against Olimpija Ljubljana on Sunday when more senior players were available for selection.

    Brown's stray pass led to the Slovenian's taking the lead in that game, a moment that outlined his relative youth and need for more experience.

    The bigger picture suggests that moment was a blip, however, and there is certainly more to come from him in a Chelsea shirt.

     

    Verdict:

    At 17 years old, being part of Chelsea's first-team squad for 2014/15 is probably a bit too much to ask for Brown right now.

    Besides, with so much attacking talent ahead of him in the pecking order, it's difficult to see how he would benefit Mourinho.

    Brown would feature rarely in the Premier League and the Blues need cover in other areas of the pitch.

Patrick Bamford

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    After his bright start to pre-season, Patrick Bamford will be restricted to cameo roles for the remainder of the campaign now that Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres and new signing Diego Costa have joined up with the squad.

    He shouldn't let that knock his confidence, however.

    Bamford is a player of exceptional ability and, in these days of false nines, reminds us what a traditional striker is all about.

    He has a look of Gary Lineker about him—not overly involved in the game for stages, but comes alive when the ball is in the danger area.

    He operates in and around the box and as we have seen from loan spells with MK Dons and Derby County, he has the killer instinct to put the ball in the back of the net.

     

    Verdict:

    This season has come a year too early for Bamford. What he needs now is a prolonged spell of playing Premier League football, which isn't going to come at Chelsea—not when Costa, Drogba and Torres are doing the rounds.

    We can expect him to go out on loan and continue his development, returning for 2015/6 when there's every chance he will be right among the Chelsea first-team.

Dominic Solanke

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    He is yet to pick up his GCSE results, but Jose Mourinho is already talking of Dominic Solanke as a future Chelsea and England forward.

    That's how good this youngster is.

    He is an exciting talent and played for Chelsea's Under-18s last season when he still qualified for the junior development teams.

    Being so young, he has a lot to learn as he develops his game and by training with Diego Costa, Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres every week, he will be learning from a world-class group of frontmen.

    Solanke will also be learning how to cut it against brutal defenders such as John Terry—which is never a bad thing.

     

    Verdict:

    While Solanke will no doubt go on to achieve great things in Chelsea colours, he is a little too raw right now to be considered as Jose Mourinho's extra Englishman.

    Chelsea paid £32 million for Diego Costa this summer and as Solanke—along with teammate Patrick Bamford—edges closer to the first-team, the need for Chelsea to splash the cash will reduce significantly.

Lewis Baker

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    Lewis Baker has played further forward for Chelsea during pre-season, yet being out of position hasn't impacted his performances.

    The 19-year-old has been a positive influence and against AFC Wimbledon grabbed all three assists to help the Blues recover from 2-0 down, eventually winning 3-2.

    He is a talented set-piece taker, also, giving Chelsea strength in area where they are often found to frustrate, failing to consistently capitalize from corners and free-kicks due to poor deliveries.

     

    Verdict:

    Of all the young Englishmen coming through at Chelsea right now, Baker is probably the best suited for Jose Mourinho's squad needs.

    In the absence of Frank Lampard, who recently joined MLS outfit New York City FC, he gives something different that the Blues do not have in abundance.

    He can sit in the midfield pivot and provide back-up to the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Marco van Ginkel and others.

    Indeed, with his presence, it could even allow Chelsea to offload Ramires to bring in more funds and remove a considerable salary off the wage bill.

    Baker made his debut last season, so is clearly highly-rated by Mourinho and he's a player he knows well.

     

    Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @garryhayes