Captain of UEFA Youth League winners Chelsea FC and scorer of two in the final, Isaiah Brown is the latest to be featured as the UEFA.com weekly wonderkid.
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Leading by example by scoring a pair of final goals while captaining Chelsea FC to the UEFA Youth League title, Isaiah Brown is UEFA.com's weekly wonderkid.
Name: Isaiah Brown
Club: Chelsea FC
Debut: 4 May 2013 for West Bromwich Albion FC v Wigan Athletic FC
Position: winger/ forward
Date of birth: 7 January 1997
Preferred foot: right
They say …
"My conscience tells me that if [Lewis] Baker, Brown and [Dominic] Solanke are not national team players in a few years, I should blame myself. When they become Chelsea players, they will become England players, almost for sure."
José Mourinho, Chelsea manager
Peterborough-born Brown joined West Bromwich Albion as a schoolboy in 2010 and impressed to such an extent he became the second-youngest player to appear in the Premier League when debuting against Wigan Athletic on the last day of season 2012/13. Signed by Chelsea that summer, the versatile forward has continued to develop as part of a side that won the 2014 FA Youth Cup and the UEFA Youth League this term, as well as achieving international glory with England at the 2014 UEFA European Under-17 Championship.
Playing style …
Able to play as a centre-forward, on the flank or in the No10 role, Brown is still to settle on his most effective position but has figured regularly on the right of a front three during his stay with Chelsea. With plenty of pace and more size than a traditional winger, he is at his most dangerous when running at goal. Capable with both feet, he takes advantage to keep his marker guessing, either going outside to whip in a cross or cutting in to fire at goal, often with success as witnessed in the UEFA Youth League final.
Shades of …
Being a relatively large winger, and blessed with plenty of footballing nous, Brown recalls a young – maybe speedier – Robert Pirès when the Frenchman was utilised on the flank. Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also comes to mind as a rangy runner who is equally comfortable wide or up top.
Eureka moment ...
Take your pick of a Premier League debut or his UEFA Youth League final exploits. The latter was certainly striking – a brace in the 3-2 final victory over FC Shakhtar Donetsk coming after a frantic weekend. Having played every minute of the Friday semi-final against AS Roma, he was whisked home to England to be a substitute for Chelsea's senior team at Sunday's Premier League fixture against Queens Park Rangers FC, before racing back to Nyon to star in Monday's final.
Best-case scenario …
Chelsea have far from the best record of blooding academy talent, though with the current crop excelling there are noises the club will have little choice but to promote Brown and class-mates. Added to the first-team squad in February, he is yet to get a senior outing but in an ideal scenario he would make his breakthrough from the bench next season – or on loan elsewhere – before establishing himself as regular in the coming years.
However, with fierce competition for places at Stamford Bridge it is more likely his path will be blocked; if so, there will not be a shortage of English top-flight sides ready to snap him up.
He says …
"It's like a dream to be with Chelsea. I'm very happy to be here. It's hard to explain just how much you are going to get better as a player and hopefully as a person."