Academy Player of the Season Harvey Vale is next to feature in our end of season player reviews, which also includes analysis of his team-mates Lewis Hall, Xavier Simons and Jude Soonsup-Bell, who made the step-up to the first-team in 21/22.
It was a season to remember for these four Chelsea youngsters as they experienced first-team action for the first time in their promising careers.
Three of the four featured just the once under Thomas Tuchel, with Harvey Vale somehwat progressing the most, appearing five times under our German head coach.
2021/22 Academy Player of the Season
The versatile attacker helped our Under-18s reach the FA Youth Cup semi-finals and win the Premier League Cup at that age group, while also starting all seven games in the UEFA Youth League as our young Blues reached the play-off round of the competition. He also featured in the Premier League 2 and Checkatrade Trophy.
He started the most games of any individual in PL2 this term, starting 22 of the possible 26 matches, netting six goals along the way. In turn, he was awarded the Academy Player of the Season award, joining the likes of Reece James and Mason Mount of Cobham graduates in the current squad to also receive the award.
Stepping up to the first-team
Vale was named on the bench in three Premier League matches this term, against Liverpool, Crystal Palace and Norwich City, though he is still yet to make an appearance in the top flight.
He also made the matchday squad on four Champions League occasions, including the quarter-final away leg at Real Madrid. His first appearance in Tuchel’s squad was away to Malmo back in November, where the Blues prevailed 1-0.
His five appearances came in domestic cup competitions, with minutes against second tier duo Luton Town and Middlesbrough in the FA Cup, as well as a substitute appearance against Spurs in the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
Impressing on their senior debuts
Academy duo Xavier Simons and Jude Soonsup-Bell joined Harvey Vale in making their first-team debuts in our Carabao Cup quarter-final triumph over Brentford in December.
Soonsup-Bell led the line up front supported by Vale and Ross Barkley, while Xavier Simons operated at right wing-back, just wide of club captain and the vastly experienced Cesar Azpilicueta.
It did not take long for Lewis Hall to make an impact on debut for Chelsea, as he started impressively against National League Chesterfield in the FA Cup third round back in January.
Hall started at left wing-back with Callum Hudson-Odoi ahead of him, with the pair linking up well in the early exchanges. The 17-year-old’s constant pressing eventually led to a mistake by Spireite’s right-back Jeff King, a lapse in judgement in which Hall duly punished, as he fired in an accurate cross straight into the path of Romelu Lukaku to slot home.
Harvey Vale’s 2021/22 Chelsea stats
Appearances: 5Starts: 1Substituted: 1Unused sub: 8Minutes played: 146Goals: 0Assists: 0
Harvey Vale FA Cup appearances 2021/22
Harvey Vale played three games in the FA Cup this season, all of which came from the bench.
Harvey Vale Carabao Cup appearances 2021/22
Harvey Vale played twice in the Carabao Cup this season, with one being from the start.
Lewis Hall FA Cup appearances 2021/22
Lewis Hall made one appearance in the FA Cup this season, as he started the third round tie with Chesterfield.
Xavier Simons Carabao Cup appearances 2021/22
Simons made one appearance in the Carabao Cup this term, as he started the quarter-final clash with Brentford.
Jude Soonsup-Bell Carabao Cup appearances 2021/22
Soonsup-Bell made one appearance in the Carabao Cup this term, as he started the quarter-final clash with Brentford.