Five Chelsea youngsters who could have a big 2023

Continuing our series of youth players that could stand out at the Premier League’s top six, here are five Chelsea youngsters who could make an impact in 2023.

The Blues have developed an outstanding youth football system in the last twenty years. Chelsea’s academy at Cobham is seemingly a conveyor belt of talent – but, unfortunately, not many actually make it to the first team.

However, if you look at various clubs across Europe, you can find players who were on the books in west London. They have also promoted plenty of youngsters up into the main squad, too. Mason Mount, Conor Gallagher, Reuben Loftus-Cheek, and Reece James are just a few from the past few years.

Now, we have identified five more youngsters who are looking to emulate these Chelsea stars in the new year.

Lewis Hall, 18

First up on our list is a player who is already making a mark in the first team – although arguably not in his natural position.

Lewis Hall has made five first-team appearances in his young Chelsea career so far. These have been at left mid/wing-back, left-back, and centre-back. But, when playing in the academy, he generally played in midfield. So, why was Thomas Tuchel, and now Graham Potter, happy to deploy the youngster in an unfamiliar role?

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Well, Hall has all the tools with which to play in a number of positions. He is a dynamic dribbler with the ball, plus has the composure and touch to receive it in small spaces. Additionally, the 18-year-old has a fabulous eye for a pass, which he can play off either foot.

He is, therefore, a versatile player for a Chelsea side that is still not settled on a formation. Lewis Hall has shown potential in some big games so far this season. For instance, he played 75 minutes against Man City in the League Cup and also started as a left wing-back away at Newcastle.

His first-team minutes will surely only increase, albeit on left-hand side positions, as the season progresses.

Omari Hutchinson, 19

Next up is a youngster whom Chelsea swiped away from London rivals Arsenal in the summer. Omari Hutchinson switched the Gunners for the Blues on a free transfer in July 2022.

An attacking midfielder who can also play in the front three, Hutchinson is the top scorer for Chelsea’s U21 in 2022/23. As a result, he has had his first experience with the top squad this season, too.

The 19-year-old made his full Chelsea debut when he came on as a sub in their 1-0 Premier League defeat against Man City. Just days later, he was a late replacement yet again during the Blues’ 4-0 loss to the same opposition in the FA Cup.

Hutchinson has a great range of passing at his disposal, plus a willingness to take on defenders. Thanks to his electric footwork and quick acceleration, he can also beat opponents with ease. All in all, Omari Hutchinson could be a handy attacking threat at the top level.

Hopefully, Graham Potter affords him the chance to show his talent.

Leo Castledine, 17

Despite being just 17, Leo Castledine is a player whose name you may see more regularly in 2023.

An attacking midfielder that can also handle more defensive roles, Castledine has earned a spot in Chelsea’s U21 squad this season. However, he is still a key member of the Blue’s U18 side, contributing five goals and one assist from six starts.

The Chelsea youngster has also turned out for the U19s in the UEFA Youth League, scoring four times in this season’s group stage.

As he progresses through the academy, Castledine seems destined to break into the first-team fold soon. He has already earned plaudits from Chelsea legends such as Frank Lampard and John Terry for his work ethic and ability.

The 17-year-old’s coach in the U21s, Mark Robinson, compared him to current Chelsea midfielders Mason Mount and Conor Gallagher (via The Athletic). So, Castledine has a lot of hype surrounding him – keep an eye out for the starlet this year.

Bashir Humphreys, 19

One of numerous Chelsea youngsters on the fringes of Graham Potter’s squad, Bashir Humphreys has had some first-team minutes this season.

Unfortunately, his full Chelsea debut was one to forget. The centre-back played the full 90 minutes during a 4-0 loss at Man City in the FA Cup. This baptism of fire should not deter the talented defender, though.

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Prior to his first team bow, Humphreys was a mainstay of the U21 side. He even captained this squad on multiple occasions, including in wins over Leyton Orient and Peterborough in the EFL Trophy.

A physical yet composed defender, the 19-year-old could emulate Trevor Chalobah by fighting his way into the first team. Considering the defensive injury woes at Chelsea, Bashir Humphreys could become another of the Blues’ youngsters to cover squad depth.

Andrey Santos, 18

Finally, rounding out our group of Chelsea youngsters who could make their mark in 2023 is a new signing. Andrey Santos has only just joined the Blues in this January transfer window. He moved from Brazilian club Vasco de Gama in a deal worth £18 million.

Santos is an energetic box-to-box midfielder who possesses stunningly fast footwork. In addition, the starlet has shown that he has an eye for goal.  During the 2022 season, he scored eight times as the Brazilian helped Vasco de Gama to promotion to Brazil’s topflight.

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Many in Brazil consider the youngster a future star – and he should be able to develop further at Cobham.

Currently, Chelsea have not detailed whether their new signing will be with the first team or academy youngsters. Either way, the dynamic talent will showcase his ability for all to see in London throughout the rest of this season and beyond.

The Chelsea academy system has a way of churning out an array of youngsters who could turn into future stars. Sometimes, players flourish away from the Stamford Bridge setup, too – due to the difficulty to break into the first team. Hopefully, Graham Potter utilises the potential that is already at the club.

Featured image credit: Getty