Thomas Tuchel has vowed to keep a path to the first team open for academy hopefuls at Chelsea, but warned them to expect a “bumpy” road and loan spells elsewhere in bids to prove their worth.
The Blues have become famed for stockpiling talent, both in their senior squad and throughout a productive youth system.
Recent years have seen more home-grown stars given an opportunity to showcase their talents, with Tuchel saying it is his intention to look in-house for inspiration before splashing out on ready-made international performers.
What has been said?
“Also at my last clubs it was always like this, the door is always open in my office for the coaches and the officials from the academy,” former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain boss Tuchel has told Chelsea’s official website.
“I love to watch training and to watch in-house games on the other pitches of the academy, although this is unfortunately not possible at the moment because we are in the bubble and have different zones.
“In my belief this is always the backbone of any club and the more guys you have that can arrive in the first team the better it is for the club, because it is something that the supporters love and these boys normally care absolutely about Chelsea, because they live that spirit over years and years.
“On the other hand they also choose the most difficult way. To make it at Chelsea, to make it at Paris, to make it at Dortmund, is one of the toughest challenges you can have. Sometimes the way is not only straight up, it's sometimes bumpy, sometimes you go on loan, but I like that they accept the challenge to make it here.
“I feel from the boys here that they absolutely want to make it as Chelsea players. Not only Premier League players, but they want to be Chelsea players, and this is the spirit that we want to feel. When we feel the spirit, in combination of course with the talent, we will push them.”
Who is providing inspiration for youngsters at Stamford Bridge?
Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Reece James and Billy Gilmour have all continued to see game time for Chelsea this season.
Callum Hudson-Odoi is another highly-rated academy graduate, while Andreas Christensen left his native Denmark in 2012 to link up with the Blues.
Frank Lampard displayed considerable faith in youth during his reign in west London, with Tuchel now looking to do likewise.
How many players do Chelsea have out on loan?
The Blues have, given the number of players on their books, had to find game time elsewhere for a number of established and developing stars.
In the 2020-21 campaign, the Premier League heavyweights have sanctioned 31 loan moves.
Among those taking in spells away from Stamford Bridge are Danny Drinkwater, Marco van Ginkel, Ross Barkley, Victor Moses, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Michy Batshuayi.
Promising youngsters such as Fikayo Tomori, Malang Sarr, Conor Gallagher and Ethan Ampadu have also been allowed to spread their wings in switches made across Europe.