Why Chelsea should try to beat Liverpool to the signature of Ben Chrisene
According to The Sun, Chelsea have been credited with an interest in Exeter City wonder kid Ben Chrisene, with the Blues looking to bring through young players far more quickly under the stewardship of Frank Lampard.
The 15-year-old made history by beating Ethan Ampadu’s record to become the youngest first-team debutant for the club when he featured in Exeter’s 4-1 defeat at the hands of Coventry City back in August.
Given Chelsea’s success in raiding the Devon side for Ethan Ampadu a couple of years back, Chrisene’s senior breakthrough prompted Frank Lampard to take a personal interest in the wonder kid.
The Sun understands that Southampton are also keeping close tabs on the League Two prospect while Bavarian giants Bayern Munich, who have made it a priority to try and scour the Football League for burgeoning talents, are also very much in the mix.
To that end, though, the drastic alternation in stance towards the handling of youngsters at Stamford Bridge could play a big role if the race to snap up Ben Chrisene goes down to the wire.
Hit hard by FIFA’s two-window transfer embargo, the Blues have already started to reap the rewards of Lampard’s youth project, with academy prospects like Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James stepping up to save the club from a situation of dire crisis.
Chelsea had been lagging way behind their Premier League rivals in terms of bringing through academy talent to the first-team over the last couple of decades but Lampard’s arrival, coupled with the transfer ban, have revolutionised the working principles at Stamford Bridge, with the focus now very much on building a strong platform for the future.
To put things into perspective Chelsea boast of an envious record when it comes to snapping up top-quality homegrown talents and Ben Chrisene could be yet another fantastic addition to an academy that is already bursting with plenty of bright emerging prospects.
That the midfielder has burst on to the scene at the senior professional level at the age of 15 is indicative of a level of maturity that belies his tender years and it is not surprising to see so many top clubs exploring the possibility of prising him away from his humble surroundings.
Regardless of which level he is currently performing at, rubbing shoulders with the big boys at such an age is no mean feat and Chrisene looks like a real talent at this stage of his career.
With the pathway from the academy to the first-team now very much open at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea should make it a priority to regularly supplement their age-group sides with top-quality talent and Chrisene apparently has the raw materials to evolve into a future star.
The 15-year-old has already earned himself a call-up to England’s U-16 side and, while he is hardly a finished article just yet, Chelsea should be backing themselves to polish him into a quality player at the Premier League level in the years to come.
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The starlet would need to go through several stages in his development even if a move to Chelsea does materialize in the near future and but he is seemingly one for the future.
All in all, Chelsea beating off competition from Liverpool in the race to sign Ben Chrisene would be a yet another step that highlights the club’s renewed faith in young talents and one that could possibly go on to pay rich dividends in the years to follow.