Chelsea will be looking to win their 10th FA Youth Cup on Monday evening when they face Manchester City at St. George’s Park.
Between 2014 and 2018, the young Blues won five consecutive FA Youth Cups, matching the streak first recorded by the Manchester United side of 1953-57 that brought the Busby Babes. And they are now just one FA Youth Cup away from becoming the competition’s joint-most successful side, alongside Man Utd.
But at the heart of Chelsea’s run, there was another team trying to cause an upset, reaching three FA Youth Cup finals: Manchester City.
The 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17 finals saw Chelsea and Man City fight it out for glory, with the London Blues getting the better of their northern rivals.
Over recent years, both Chelsea and Man City have made a name for themselves as having some of the best academies in the world and the talent on show in the 2016/17 final (the last of the trilogy) proves that.
Unfortunately for a lot of Chelsea’s academy players in the past, their success in the FA Youth Cup has been unable to help them grab a place in the first-team, instead falling victim to the club’s vicious loan system.
However, a number of the 2016/17 crop have found their way to breakthrough, due to favourable circumstances, pure ability and determination.
So, ahead of Monday’s FA Youth Cup final, we’ve taken a look at the 2016/17 meeting between Chelsea and Man City to see where the players from both teams are now.
Career path: Swindon, Chelsea, Chippenham Town (loan), Warrenpoint (loan), Exeter City, Brentford
Senior appearances: 8
The goalkeeper joined Chelsea at the age of 13 and rose through the ranks to keep goal in the first leg of the 2016/17 final. Thompson was then loaned to non-league side Chippenham and, after another temporary move to Northern Ireland with Warrenpoint, was released. After a spell at Exeter without an appearance, Thompson is now on the books at Brentford.
Career path: Chelsea, Stevenage (loan)
Senior appearances: 12
- Joined Chelsea as a youngster and remains at the club.
- Appeared on the bench seven times, including for the 2019 Europa League final.
- Now impressing on loan at Stevenage.
Career path: Chelsea, Wigan Athletic (loan)
Senior appearances: 90
One of a handful of Chelsea’s current first-teamers to appear in the 2016/17 FA Youth Cup final, James was key to the Blues’ domination. James remained with the academy sides until 2018/19 when he was sent on his first, and only, loan spell to Wigan.
The 20-year-old was excellent for the Latics at both right-back and midfield winning the club’s Player of the Year award and earning calls for a place in Chelsea’s first team, which he has now secured in his second season under Frank Lampard.
Career path: Chelsea, Swansea City (loan)
Senior appearances: 25
Another big member of the…