Pochettino hopes to hand debuts to academy starlets against Wimbledon

Mauricio Pochettino hopes to hand debuts to academy starlets against Wimbledon… with the Chelsea boss keen to show a path to the first team despite their lavish summer spending

  • Pochettino will include up to five youngsters on the bench in the Carabao Cup
  • Chelsea’s summer spend had raised concerns over the pathway to the first team 
  • Would Mohamed Salah ‘do the dirty’ on Liverpool by leaving? And what about Man United ‘diving’?: Listen to It’s All Kicking Off, Mail Sport’s new podcast

Mauricio Pochettino wants to hand debuts to several Chelsea academy starlets for their Carabao Cup second-round tie with Wimbledon, the manager confirmed on Tuesday.

Pochettino would not name those who will make the cut but he plans to include up to five youngsters in his squad, though it is expected they will start on the bench.

Yet the Chelsea boss is keen to get them involved in the game against their League Two visitors and prove that there is a pathway to his first team amid some concern among academy insiders.

Amid Chelsea’s lavish spending, some have been wondering if their talented starlets will get any opportunities to impress. Pochettino insists that will happen under him, starting on Tuesday.

‘We start with 11 players who can perform in the way we want,’ Pochettino said. ‘We have many injuries. We are going to use four or five guys from the academy, 17-year-olds, 16-year-olds.

Mauricio Pochettino wants to hand debuts to Chelsea academy starlets against Wimbledon

Concerns have been raised over the pathway to Chelsea’s first team amid their lavish spending, with £115m signing Moises Caicedo among their big money summer signings

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‘It is an opportunity. It’s because we need, we have some players who cannot play. It should be good to create the possibility for the young guys. Part of the project is to produce players for the first team.’

Chelsea will target the Carabao Cup as Pochettino feels winning the season’s first trophy can be good for morale. He continued: ‘All of the competitions are important for Chelsea,’ Pochettino said. ‘The circumstances aren’t the best with the injuries. We have some players that we need to avoid risk and give some rest.’

Pochettino added that Chelsea are still in the market for signings ahead of the summer window’s deadline day, but that he is perfectly happy with his squad currently. ‘I am happy,’ he said. ‘Maybe we can improve some positions. But if they don’t come, I am happy.’


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