Promising Chelsea midfielder Charlie Colkett gives Jose Mourinho reason to overlook England and Everton midfielder Ross Barkley.

Chelsea have been strongly linked with £50 million move for Everton’s Ross Barkley this year, but academy product Charlie Colkett could offer a free alternative.

The 18-year-old Blues midfielder has had a fantastic 2014 and, since his promotion to the Under-21 side, he has looked every bit a future first-team prospect.

After an excellent FA Cup youth final, in which Chelsea beat Fulham 7-6, the coaching staff at Cobham saw fit to promote Colkett to play alongside the more established Lewis Baker, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Charly Musonda in the highest possible level below senior – an opportunity he has grabbed with both hands.

It’s important to remember that, despite his obvious talents, Colkett is competing with older, more developed players for game time in the Under-21 Premier League for Chelsea, but he has still made a positive impact.

Out of Chelsea’s eight games in the league, he has appeared in seven, with four outings coming from the bench. However, his impact in the UEFA Youth League is far more telling of his ability, having scored three and assisted two goals in six appearances.

Colkett is a dynamic, skilful, intelligent and cutting midfielder with an eye for a killer pass and the ability to execute it.

Although he has made an impressive start, the key for the youngster now is to try and keep on progressing at his current pace. If he can do that, without doubt he could become a future first team player for the Blues.

And given his style, ability and age, he may just be the answer to the role Jose Mourinho has reportedly been eyeing Barkley up for and could save Roman Abramovich a small fortune.

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