The Chelsea wonderkids who could save Todd Boehly millions: Xavier Mbuyamba poised for chance to impress

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 (IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)
(IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea are heading for a big summer under Todd Boehly.

The first window of his ownership, Thomas Tuchel has already called for attacking reinforcement after a difficult season for his expensive-assembled frontline.

Still, while Boehly is expected to oversee a major summer rebuild, Tuchel has a number of options already in his ranks. Given the scale of the task ahead, trying to save where possible to focus on the most pressing areas seems a wise idea.

The club’s academy have already developed a number of players into first-team stars and, such is the talent in their ranks, that could well be the case again.

Harvey Vale, Jude Soonsup-Bell and Xavier Simons were all handed debuts during the 2021/22 season and Chelsea’s Under-18s reached the FA Youth Cup while winning Premier League Cup.

With that kind of talent on offer, Tuchel could have a number of internal solutions to turn to during a big summer rebuild.

Ahead of the new Premier League season, we look at three Chelsea youngsters who could be set to shine in 2022-23…

Xavier Mbuyamba

Chelsea blocked a loan move for Xavier Mbuyamba in January (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Chelsea blocked a loan move for Xavier Mbuyamba in January (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

With Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen departing amid doubts about the futures of Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta, Tuchel needs options in defence.

In 20-year-old Xavier Mbuyamba, the Chelsea boss may have one.

Brought to the club from Barcelona in 2020, the club blocked a loan exit for the Dutchman in January and he returned from a long-term injury to make 20 Premier League 2 appearances last season.

A tall, athletic defender comfortable with the ball at his feet, early comparisons to compatriot Virgil van Dijk might not be helpful for his career, but at least serve as some kind of indication as to what fans can expect.

Short on options at the back, it could be a big year for Mbuyamba.

Harvey Vale

Harvey Vale was named Chelsea’s Academy Player of the Season in May (Getty Images)
Harvey Vale was named Chelsea’s Academy Player of the Season in May (Getty Images)

Named the club’s Academy Player of the Season in May, 18-year-old Harvey Vale looks set for a big future. Previously, Mason Mount, Reece James and Conor Gallagher have received such an honour.

Able to operate in a number of roles, the teenager scored 9 goals in 38 appearances across all competitions last season and could help offer a fresh option to ailing attack.

While Tuchel’s first-team is packed with big names, very few truly made a case to be considered regular starters last season and Vale’s versatility makes him an exciting prospect.

An attacking midfielder with an eye for goal developed at Cobham, supporters would surely get behind him.

Armando Broja

Armando Broja has already impressed in the Premier League while on loan at Southampton (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Armando Broja has already impressed in the Premier League while on loan at Southampton (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Chelsea’s infamous “curse of the No9” is well-documented.

While that’s not to say Tuchel won’t move for another striker this summer, the club do not have the best track-record when it comes to spending big money on centre-forwards.

Luckily for them, they have a Premier League-proven option already on the books.

Armando Broja enjoyed a breakthrough campaign on loan at Southampton, scoring 6 goals in 21 League starts.

Commended for his ability to bully defenders, the 20-year-old has often shown the kind of physical dominance entirely absent from much of Lukaku’s performances this season.

Tuchel has already confirmed the Albania international will get a chance to prove himself in pre-season.

Surrounded by a better calibre of player, it will be fascinating to see what Broja can do.

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