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When QPR’s under-23’s strode out to play Crystal Palace on Monday, the name of Isaac Christie-Davies stood out on the teamsheet, with his inclusion taking most by surprise, given that he was on the books at Chelsea to the best of anyone’s knowledge.
It seems the England under-17 international is on trial at QPR after six years with Chelsea who signed him from Brighton and Hove Albion’s under-11 side.
Christie-Davies made his debut in the Chelsea youth set-up while still officially part of the under-16’s back in the 2012/13 season and featured for the under-18’s ten times the following year, even managing to get on the scoresheet against Newcastle United.
Described as a box-to-box midfield player, he became a regular in the Blues’ youth team and was a constant danger from his central position, eventually scoring 12 goals.
Chelsea’s U18 side won the league for the second time in a row in 2015/16 with Christie-Davies very much a major part of the success, as well as helping them to another FA Youth Cup win before he was promoted to be a part of the under-19 team playing in the UEFA Youth League.
Having made 12 appearances at that level, he helped the side retain their European crown and featured for the under-21’s before appearing in the Checkatrade Trophy against Swindon Town’s first-team in 2016/17.
Despite signing a new one-year contract in the summer, Christie-Davies seems resigned to losing his place in the Chelsea development set-up and must find a new club, with his trial with QPR potentially offering him a way to first-team football at a good level. It’s felt that the club should take up the option.
True, the way Chelsea manage these things is not good for the game as a whole; buying up as much young talent as they possibly can before throwing players out on loan or having to release them to create room in the set-up. This sort of scattergun, slap-happy approach has led to them losing some good talent over the years and who knows, maybe Christie-Davies is another who will go on to play top-level football.
He certainly has the core skills and midfield players of his type, when they make it, become extremely valuable ala Gerrard and Lampard.