As the class of 2019/20 prepare to take on the UEFA Youth League, we look back at those players who have graduated from playing in blue in the Under-19 competition to the senior game.
Andy Myers takes charge of our youngsters this season in a competition we have reached the final in on the last four occasions we entered. The young Blues are back in the group stage this term and will mirror the senior team’s fixtures, starting with a home game against Valencia at Cobham this afternoon.
Kick-off is at 1pm and you can follow the action on our official @chelseafc Twitter. In the build-up to the action, we recall those familiar faces who have taken to the Youth League stage in past campaigns.
The midfielder featured in our first-ever Youth League game back in September 2013 and went on to lift the trophy the following season as we were crowned Under-19 European champions for the first time. His first senior appearance for the Blues also came on the continental stage when he replaced Cesc Fabregas in a 3-1 win over Sporting Lisbon in December 2014.
Ake captained the team in our maiden campaign, scoring away at Schalke in the group stage before the Germans got the better of Dermot Drummy’s side in the quarter-finals at Cobham. The Dutchman actually played for the Blues in the Europa League prior to his involvement with the Under-19s and made his Champions League debut against Maribor in October 2014.
Our Danish defender made 17 appearances in the Youth League during his time in the Academy and developed a knack for creating goals as well as keeping them out, notching five assists in his two seasons of involvement. He eventually got his hands on the trophy after victory in the 2015 final, although he was credited with an own goal in that game against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Solanke played in the Under-19 competition while still a schoolboy in 2013/14 before netting a dozen goals the following season, including a brace in the semi-final and one in the final. He made his Blues debut in the Champions League in October 2014.
A second-half substitute in the 2015 final, having scored in the semis against Roma, Abraham was even more influential the following season as he netted eight goals in nine games en route to the Blues winning the competition for the second year in a row.
The defender’s standout Youth League moment came in Nyon when his close-range goal helped us to a 2-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the 2015 final. That was Tomori’s final game in the competition and ensured he joined an exclusive club of two-time winners.
Mount made his Under-19s debut as a fresh-faced 16-year-old in Tel-Aviv as he came off the bench late on in a 4-0 win that secured a table-topping finish in the group stage in 2015. The midfielder went on to feature on four further occasions that season, all as a substitute, and claimed a winner’s medal.
A week before his first Blues appearance in the League Cup against Nottingham Forest, Ampadu started in midfield for our youngsters as they thrashed Qarabag 5-0 at Cobham. The Welsh teenager made seven Youth League appearances in total that season, scoring in the last-16 against Feyenoord, although a nasty ankle injury picked up in the quarter-final at Real Madrid brought a premature end to his campaign.
Just like Ampadu, tricky forward Hudson-Odoi made his European bow on matchday one of the 2017/18 campaign, with the winger opening our account early in the second half. A year later, he played in the Europa League for the first time and four of his five goals last season came in the continental competition.
Who will be next? Click here to see the profiles of those included in our UEFA Youth League squad this season!