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Contracts and loan extended for development squad trio

Development squad striker Charlie Brown has extended his loan in Belgium for the 2020/21 campaign, while Jack Wakely and Jon Russell have both signed new Chelsea contracts.

Brown initially made the loan move to Royale Union Saint-Gilloise back in January and has made three appearances for the Brussels-based side, who narrowly missed out on the second division play-offs. The 20-year-old scored five goals in 18 appearances for our development squad prior to the loan and will now return to Belgium for the duration of next season.

Brown was top scorer across our Academy sides in 2018/19 with 20 goals from 31 appearances. He signed a new contract in October 2018, committing him to Chelsea until the summer of 2021.

Meanwhile, Russell and Wakely have agreed one-year contract extensions at the club ahead of the new campaign. The pair helped our youngsters to an unbeaten season in Premier League 2 before it was curtailed with four games remaining due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Defender Wakely made 18 appearances for Andy Myers’s side, while midfielder Russell scored three goals in 11 games as the Blues led the league standings prior to the abandonment. The Premier League have yet to announce how the 2019/20 season will be brought to a sporting conclusion.

There are also new long-term deals until 2023 for Levi Colwill and Bryan Fiabema. Colwill enjoyed an impressive breakthrough season as a scholar, making his debut for the development squad, while Fiabema signed from Tromso IL in February.

Elsewhere, youth team defenders Josh Brooking and Charlie Wiggett have both put pen to paper on their first professional contracts, committing them to the club until June 2022.

Former Reading youngster Brooking featured 12 times for our Under-18s last season, while Wiggett made 14 appearances for Ed Brand’s side and debuted in the UEFA Youth League. Team-mate Ethan Wady has also agreed a new one-year contract with the club.

There are two Academy graduates departing Stamford Bridge this summer as their contracts come to an end. Josh Grant first started training at the club aged seven and leaves Chelsea with a mountain of achievements, having most recently helped Plymouth Argyle win automatic promotion to League One while on loan in Devon this season.

Scholar of the Year in 2016 after captaining the youth team to their second league title in as many years, he collected a clean sweep of silverware during his time playing for our younger age groups, lifting the FA Youth Cup, UEFA Youth League and national league titles.

The Brixton-born defender has spent the past two seasons playing men’s football in League Two with Yeovil Town and Plymouth respectively.

Richard Nartey departs after 12 years at the club. The composed, ball-playing defender played a major role in our Treble-winning Under-18 season in 2016/17, stepping up to make half a dozen appearances for the development squad in that same campaign.

After two terms with the Under-23s, Nartey took his first step into men’s football last summer and spent the season in League One with Burton Albion, making 29 appearances in total for the Brewers. They finished 12th after the campaign was curtailed and final standings decided on a points-per-game basis.

Also moving on are Marcel Lavinier, Jake Askew, Jordan Aina and James Clark, although provisions have been made to extend their stays through the summer months due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The quartet have signed rolling one-month extensions as they seek to find new clubs.

We thank them all for their service as Chelsea players and wish them well for their future careers.

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