Snap shot: Chelsea's UEFA Youth League winners
Monday, April 11, 2016
With Chelsea facing Anderlecht in the last four on Friday, we look at the side that defeated Shakhtar Donetsk in the 2015 final and track their progress since that 3-2 win.
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Chelsea's UEFA Youth League squad return to Nyon this week to continue their defence of the title they won last year by defeating Shakhtar Donetsk 3-2 in the final.
Eleven of the 13 who stepped on to the pitch against the Ukrainian side helped the club capture the prestigious FA Youth Cup two weeks later. While seven are back for another shot at the Lennart Johansson Trophy, the other six have gone on to gain first-team experience in France, the Netherlands and Spain, not to mention at Stamford Bridge. UEFA.com charts where they are now.
1. Dominic Solanke
The 18-year-old restored Chelsea's lead in the final, his 12th and last goal of a top-scoring UEFA Youth League campaign. The forward is on a season-long loan at Vitesse, for whom he broke his Eredivisie duck on only his second appearance, and in November made his England Under-21 debut. In May 2014, Solanke was the leading scorer as England won the UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Malta.
• Star of 2014: Dominic Solanke
2. Jake Clarke-Salter*
The central defender played in all of Chelsea's UEFA Youth League games last term and has made a further six outings in the competition in 2015/16. Clarke-Salter was promoted to the first-team squad by Guus Hiddink after the season-ending knee injury sustained by Kurt Zouma in early February and made his debut late on in the 4-0 triumph at Aston Villa nine days ago.
3. Bradley Collins*
Collins has featured in all three editions of the UEFA Youth League and had a clean sheet on his debut, a 5-0 defeat of Steaua Bucureşti in December 2013. The Southampton-born shot-stopper broke a wrist before Christmas in 2014 but returned in time for the knockout phase, where he was ever-present. He shared goalkeeping duties in this season's group stage with Jared Thompson and Nathan Baxter.
4. Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Like Solanke, Loftus-Cheek was given a first and brief taste of UEFA Champions League football in the 2014/15 group stage. Three weeks after the Nyon final, with the Premier League title wrapped up, the midfielder was afforded his maiden Chelsea start by José Mourinho. The Londoner played twice for England at the UEFA European U21 Championsip finals last summer, scored his first senior club goal in a January 2016 FA Cup tie and the following month signed a new five-year deal.
5. Andreas Christensen
The 20-year-old defender has packed a lot into the year since his own goal in the UEFA Youth League final. In June 2015 he earned his first senior Denmark cap and played every minute of the U21s' run to the EURO semi-finals in the Czech Republic. Loaned to Borussia Mönchengladbach for the season, Christensen started five of their six UEFA Champions League group matches. On 5 February, the centre-back was on target twice in a 5-1 Bundesliga victory over Werder Bremen.
6. Isaiah Brown
Chelsea's match winner against Shakhtar with two goals, Brown is one of five Blues players on loan at Vitesse. The versatile attacker made his senior Chelsea debut against his former club, West Bromwich Albion, in the penultimate league game of last season. A 2014 U17 EURO-winning team-mate of Solanke's in Malta.
7. Charles Musonda
The Belgium U21 midfielder, 19, has been at Chelsea since the summer of 2012. In January he joined Real Betis on loan and promptly scored his first Liga goal, equalising in a 2-2 draw at Deportivo La Coruña on 13 February.
8. Jeremie Boga
The French U19 international has been a regular in the Rennes squad this season, the midfielder having joined the Ligue 1 club on loan last summer.
9. Charlie Colkett*
The midfielder played all but 11 minutes of Chelsea's march to UEFA Youth League glory, his goal in the semi-final against Roma his fifth of a highly productive European campaign. He remains a mainstay of their push to retain the title.
10. Temitayo Aina*
A versatile defender, Aina was another ever present in his side's European success. He was rewarded by Mourinho with a place on the club's post and pre-season tours.
11. Jay DaSilva*
Like Aina and Collins, Dasilva has taken to the field in every season of the UEFA Youth League. The full-back/winger opened the scoring against Valencia in the round of 16.
Kasey Palmer* (for Jeremie Boga, 71)
Palmer signed a new contract in February, committing him to Chelsea until summer 2019. The forward got things going for Adi Viveash's team by scoring the first two goals in the 3-0 victory over Maccabi Tel-Aviv on matchday one.
Tammy Abraham* (for Charles Musonda, 85)
Abraham's three goals against Manchester City ultimately proved decisive in Chelsea retaining the FA Youth Cup. With 11 UEFA Youth League strikes to his name – seven of them this term – Abraham is joint fifth on the competition's all-time list, one behind Solanke.
*Part of Chelsea's 2015/16 squad