Chelsea's Ian Maatsen

6 Chelsea academy stars who are set for a big breakthrough in 2023-24

Chelsea have one of the best youth systems in Europe and their latest crop of young stars is well worth getting excited about. 

With Mauricio Pochettino now in the dugout, Chelsea’s upcoming stars could be handed more first team opportunities this season and several youngsters are ready for their big break.

We’ve looked through Chelsea’s youth ranks and have picked out six academy stars who are set for a big breakthrough in 2023-24.

Ian Maatsen

After an outstanding loan spell with Burnley in the Championship last season, everything is currently pointing towards Maatsen having a breakthrough campaign in the first team.

Pochettino has heavily relied upon the 21-year-old in pre-season and he’s even played him in a more advanced role. With the skillset to play as a full-back, winger or number 10, Maatsen has all the tools to make it in the top flight.

“He has quality, he understands the game, and he is such a clever player,” Pochettino told the club website. “So far, he is in my plan, yes. I am so pleased with him, as I’ve said, because of his attitude, commitment and his understanding of the game.”

Levi Colwill

The 20-year-old is practically a household name by this point following his successful loan spell with Brighton, but this year is his chance to breakthrough into the Chelsea XI.

Given the injuries to Benoit Badiashile and Wesley Fofana, Colwill looks to be in a solid position to claim a starting spot. Having recently penned a fresh deal at Stamford Bridge until 2029, he’s ready to kick on this season.

“Chelsea has been my club since my ninth birthday, when I first joined,” Colwill told Standard Sport. “I love this club. I want to win big things with this club and I just had to speak to the gaffer, see what happened and… from there, there was never a doubt.

“I always wanted to be at Chelsea, be a Chelsea player and, hopefully, be a Chelsea legend one day.”

Bashir Humphreys

After making his senior debut last season, the only way is up for the young defender.

London, England, 27th December 2022. Bashir Humphreys of Chelsea warms up before the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge

READ: Everything you need to know about Chelsea prospect Bashir Humphreys

Leo Castledine

“John Terry regularly remarks what a great trainer Castledine is, how he treats each session like a cup final,” report The Athletic.

The teenage attacking midfielder has bags of potential and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for him this season. Castledine looks like Cobham’s latest gem and we can see why Terry rates him so highly.

Harvey Vale

The Chelsea youngster spent a short portion of last season on loan with Hull City, but the loan was ultimately cut short due to injury. His record in youth football is superb and it is surely only a matter of time before he makes the next step in his career.

Perhaps another loan move could be on the cards this season, but we don’t think it will be too long before he’s in and around the first team if he continues on his current trajectory.

Lucas Bergstrom

Given Kepa Arrizabalaga could be on his way out of the club this summer, Bergstrom could be handed some more opportunities and included in more match-day squads going forward.

The 20-year-old goalkeeper has already represented Finland at international level and he continued his development with a loan spell with Peterborough United last season.

If Chelsea don’t sign another goalkeeper, there’s every chance that Bergstrom gets a few opportunities in the cup competitions this year. Give it a year or two and he could even be pushing for the number one spot.

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