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25 England prospects: Chelsea's academy vital to international success

We take a look at why success for Chelsea at academy level is so important for the future of the England team

Chelsea have had no less than 25 youth prospects called up recently by England for their respective age groups, between U16 and U21 level, making the Blues' Cobham Training Centre effectively a second home for the England international set-up. 

Roman Abramovich, after initially putting money into the club for short-term gain, has worked hard behind the scenes to ensure there was a plethora of talent coming through the academy. 

In doing that, it has allowed Chelsea to scope out the talent from around the country and put them all in one place, which judging by the amount of England representatives seems to be going well. 

Over this past international break, Chelsea had, not including members of the senior England team, 13 players away with England team on international duty from Under-16 level to the Under-21s. On top of that, Chelsea have had another 12 players called up recently, but for whatever reason not included into the latest squad.

The Players

Under 16s:

Jared Thompson - goalkeeper - aged 15

Trevoh Chalobah - defender - aged 15

Dujon Sterling - defender - aged 15

Cole Dasilva - defender - aged 15

Mason Mount - midfielder - aged 15

Martell Taylor-Crossdale - striker - aged 14

Under 17s:

Jay Dasilva - defender - aged 16

Jacob Maddox - defender - aged 16

Charlie Wakefield - defender aged 16

Under 18s: 

Jake Clarke-Salter - defender - aged 17

Dominic Solanke - striker - aged 17

Tammy Abraham - striker - aged 17

Under 19s: 

Ola Aina - defender - aged 18

Ruben Loftus-Cheek - midfielder - aged 18

Alex Kiwomya - striker - aged 18

Isaiah Brown - striker - aged 17

Under 20s: 

Fankaty Dabo - goalkeeper - aged 19

Jordan Houghton - defender - aged 19

John Swift - midfielder - aged 19

Lewis Baker - midfielder - aged 19 *called up to under-21 level last international break

Under 21s: 

Jamal Blackman - goalkeeper - aged 21

Todd Kane - defender - aged 21

Nathaniel Chalobah - midfielder - aged 19

Josh McEachran - midfielder - aged 21

Patrick Bamford - striker - aged 21

Chelsea supporters will be strongly familiar with some of the names, like Nathaniel Chalobah, who has 21 caps at Under-21 level despite being 19, and Dominic Solanke, who Mourinho has personally earmarked for an international future. There are some names in the squad that will be new to the majority of fans, especially those in a younger age group.

At the same time, with the amount of quality the Blues have in their ranks, comes great responsibility. As they do possess more England youth internationals than any other side in the country, it's only natural they will be under the microscope more than the other sides in how they develop players and where these unknown names are in five years time. 

Last season, Chelsea's Under-21 side were dominant in their domestic competitions and won all the trophies on offer. It was the first huge step in challenging the likes of Barcelona's La Masia academy in England and, if they continue to persevere with current process, there is no reason the England team can't reap the same rewards. 

The Chelsea coaching staff are now sitting on a gold mine of talent, and if progression goes to according to plan, the England team could be in a great position come the 2018, 2022 World Cups. 

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