Bashir Humphreys made his official club debut for Chelsea against Manchester City in the FA Cup and he will be hoping that it is the first of many.
Chelsea boasts one of the best youth academies in England, although the pathway to the first team isn’t always straightforward. Over the years Chelsea have been guilty of letting go of some of their brightest prospects too early.
The likes of Mason Mount and Reece James have proven that it is possible to make it through the ranks of the Chelsea academy though and Humphreys is the latest player looking to make that jump. Here’s everything you need to know about the youngster.
Who is he?
Born in March 2003, Humphreys started his footballing career with the youth setup of Reading. Chelsea picked him up in 2017 when he joined the Under-15s squad.
The defender was offered a scholarship by the club in 2019 and he then signed his first-ever professional deal in 2021. Humphreys became a regular for Chelsea’s Under-18s in the 2019/20 season and he hasn’t looked back since.
In the 2020-21 season, he would regularly captain the Under-18s side where he impressed on the whole. He has since been playing for Chelsea’s Under-21’s who has now racked up 27 appearances for.
He has spent the majority of this season playing in the Premier League 2 and UEFA Youth League, although he has been slowly integrated into the first team.
The 19-year-old was made the bench for the first time for Chelsea’s game against Bournemouth in December 2022, but he did not feature.
His first appearance for the first team came against Manchester City in the FA Cup where Graham Potter handed him his debut at the heart of their defence alongside Kalidou Koulibaly.
Where he plays
Humphreys is described as a ‘versatile defender who enjoys playing with the ball at his feet’ by the official Chelsea website. He has spent the majority of his youth career playing as a centre-half, although he can play elsewhere.
Of his 57 appearances for Chelsea’s youth squads, Humphreys has played as a centre-half in 49 of those matches. He has also played as a holding midfielder and as a left-back.
The 19-year-old has also been involved with the England youth set-ups since Under-15s level. In total, he has played 15 matches for England at various youth levels. He was also part of the Under-19s squad which won the 2022 UEFA European Under-19 Championship.
What he’s said
Speaking during Black History Month, Humphreys detailed his rise through the Chelsea ranks. “Being a young black man in the Chelsea Academy and captaining the sides that I play with will always be a massive achievement for me,’ he told the official club website.
“I think it is always important to appreciate how far I have come. However I think I owe it to myself, to the young black players in the younger age groups and to young black footballers everywhere to continue applying the work ethic that has helped me get this far.
“I just want young black individuals in whatever profession to feel like it’s possible for them to achieve their dreams as long as the dedication matches the ambition.”
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