The Stamford Bridge failed youngsters XI: featuring Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest men

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Players from Aston Villa, Swansea, Nottingham Forest, Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday feature.

Today is Jack Cork’s birthday, and surprisingly he is only 26-years-old.

The Swansea midfielder started his career at Chelsea, having a reputation as a classy midfielder with real first-team ambitions. He captained both youth and reserve teams, going on to spend a number of loan spells away from the club.

Yet despite all this expectation surrounding him, he left Chelsea in 2011, signing for Southampton, then in the Championship. He played a vital role in seeing them back into the top flight, before establishing himself in the Premier League.

He proved his quality, although struggled to break into the team under Ronald Koeman last season, and moved to Swansea and immediately became a key player in their midfield.

He is a player rarely seen in English football, and his talent should see him as part of the English international set-up. He has vision, an impressive passing ability, and is one of the best deep-lying midfielders in the Premier League.

Cork’s career path is one few ex-Chelsea youth players have achieved, even if some have established themselves in the Premier League. The likes of Franco di Santo and Scott Sinclair have built top level careers after leaving Stamford Bridge, and to celebrate Cork’s birthday, we look at an ex-Chelsea Youth XI - who have enjoyed mixed success since leaving.


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