Mauricio Pochettino makes pledge to Chelsea academy players

Mauricio Pochettino insists that he wants to focus on “bringing good players from the academy to the first team” during his time as Chelsea manager.

Since Todd Boehly took over ownership of Chelsea, the Blues have gone on an astonishing spending spree in the last three transfer windows by spending almost £950m on new players – including breaking the British transfer record on two occasions.

Despite the huge outlay, new manager Pochettino has made an effort to utilise homegrown players from the academy in recent games – including Ian Maatsen, Conor Gallagher and Levi Colwill in the 3-0 win over Luton Town at Stamford Bridge.

More academy players are expected to feature for the Blues this midweek when Chelsea face off against AFC Wimbledon in the second round of the Carabao Cup, and Pochettino revealed in his pre-match press conference of his commitment to providing opportunities.

“I hope we can change this feeling for the fans in the future. It can again be the philosophy of the club. I think always the record was fantastic and we again need to reinforce and energise the academy,” the Argentine said. “First, because we believe in them and then because Chelsea was famous for bringing good players from the academy to the first team.

“First of all on the bench and maybe if it goes well they will have the possibility to play. But they will start on the bench. From what they have told me none of them have been involved before, but I have to check. Today, I was asking ‘If you are involved, what do you think?. And their eyes [go big] like this.

“Because they are 16, 17…to have the possibility to be at Stamford Bridge in an official competition with the first team. It’s an exciting moment for them and the families. I know what it means.”

While a number of academy graduates have been given chances to shine by Pochettino, the club have also parted ways with some this summer. Ruben Loftus-Cheek has joined AC Milan after years of heading out on loan, while Callum Hudson-Odoi looks likely to join Nottingham Forest before the September 1 deadline.


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