Chelsea always seem to have plenty of talented kids hanging around the first-team setup.

As 2016 comes to a close, there is not an exception to that rule as the likes of Ola Aina, Nathaniel Chalobah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have all been given chances by Antonio Conte.

The Premier League leaders typically send an enormous amount of emerging young players out on loan, but there is also plenty of quality in the West London club’s youth academy at Cobham.

Here are five Chelsea starlets who could make the grade in the coming years:

George McEachran

The kid brother of former Chelsea talent Josh, now with Brentford, George is being tipped for great things by those involved at the academy.

McEachran is a 16-year-old midfielder who can operate as a left or right winger, as well as up front behind the lead striker, or as a nimble no.10.

Joining the Blues at the age of 8, the England U17 international has enjoyed a strong first half of his debut season as a scholar, particularly at international level where he helped the Young Lions win the Croatia Cup with a goal and an assist in an 8-1 hammering of Germany.

McEachran, who possesses a cultured left foot, has featured 10 times for the U18s already this term and has shown why there is such a high opinion of him.

The youngster was given an opportunity in the FA Youth Cup recently and according to coach Jody Morris, he was a prime mover in the victory over Cardiff City earlier in December, along with some other key academy prospects

“The way people like Tariq (Uwakwe), George McEachran and Martell Taylor-Crossdale have been playing for me in the league, I made a point that I wanted to get them on the pitch and give them some Youth Cup experience because you never know when you’re going to need to rely on that experience later in the competition,” he told

“It was a decent performance from us and we scored some really good goals so I’m delighted for the boys.”

Morris also saw McEachran deliver in an U18 PL game in early November after he had returned from national team duty.

“We were able to bring on three England youth internationals and they played a big part in the win. George McEachran provided some real quality with a great free-kick that was headed in.”

He was able to fire home a nice right-footed goal against Southampton in August, as you can see below, courtesy of Southampton‘s official YouTube channel:
*Goal from 1:04…

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With a fighting spirit, McEachran is expected to continue developing at a rapid rate at Cobham before eventually staking his claim in the first team.

Martell Taylor-Crossdale

Taylor-Crossdale has taken the U18 competition by storm this season.

The East London native, who turned 17 this week, has already plundered opposition defences with 13 goals in 14 outings for Morris’ side thus far.

He has impressed the club’s hierarchy so much so that he was offered a pro deal just prior to Christmas, in his first year as a scholar.

Coach Morris was pleased to see Taylor-Crossdale net a hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Arsenal earlier in the season by using one of the key attributes he possesses.

“We looked at some slightly different ways to attack them, hitting the frontman from our goal-kicks to see if we could use Martell’s physicality and managed to score from that so those things were pleasing,” he told

After a classy opener against Brighton & Hove Albion in early November, Morris added of Taylor-Crossdale: “It was an outstanding strike from Martell.

“He’s got that ability when he connects with the ball and it flew into the corner so it was a great goal to give us the lead.”

See the goal below:

And by looking at some of his best moments, it appears an extremely bright future for the England U17 striker.

Thanks to YouTube user ‘miroP10’ for a lovely highlights package of Martell TC:

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Ike Ugbo

Ugbo has reached double figures for goals already this season.

The has found the back of then in the FA Youth Cup, the U18 league, Premier League 2 and the EFL Trophy, mixing his time between the U23s and U18s.

After scoring a brace in the FA Youth Cup win over Cardiff on December 14, Ugbo is hoping to continue emulating a former pair of prolific academy strikers before him.

“There is a little bit of pressure following Tammy Abraham and Dominic Solanke as the main striker in this team but it’s good pressure and it makes me want to try to achieve what they did and score as many goals as them in the competition,” he told

His efforts up front have seen him join an esteemed list of youth scorers since the 2014/15 season.

There is absolutely no doubting Ugbo’s ability and with his knack for goal and willingness to step up in grade, and perform well, the sky is the limit for this England U17 international who has been with Chelsea since the U10s.

Fankaty Dabo

Along with Jay DaSilva, Dabo has captained the U23s in Premier League 2, Premier League International and the EFL Trophy this season.

The 21-year-old defender is a piece of the furniture in the Chelsea academy having amassed almost 110 appearances since debuting for the U18 side back in 2010/11.

Signing a new deal with the Blues in 2015, Dabo is contracted to the West London outfit until the summer, and will be hoping to impress Antonio Conte in the second half of the season in a bid to extend his stay.

No doubt the Southwark-born Dabo has benefited greatly playing alongside some star seniors this term.

And his leadership has been there for all to see, which is likely to carry him into a fruitful senior career, hopefully at Stamford Bridge.

Juan Castillo

Castillo is a highly-rated attacking midfielder who joined Chelsea from Ajax in the summer.

The 16-year-old, who turns 17 next month, played as a winger in his young days but has advanced into a central midfielder who boasts strong leadership credentials.

Castillo has captained Holland at youth level and was a target for Manchester United before the Blues swooped.

Chelsea wanted Castillo so badly that they offered Ajax greater incentives to lure him from Amsterdam to London, instead of him heading to Manchester.

An excitement machine who is full of tricks, Castillo has featured mainly as a sub in the U18s in his first year as a scholar.

There are some good clips of Castillo at Ajax below, thanks to YouTube user ‘Franko’:

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And a deft panenka penalty for the Dutch national side:

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