Chelsea’s Dermot Drummy believes the new Under-21 Premier League could prove to be an outstanding success.
The Blues’ youngsters began their campaign on Friday with a 0-0 draw against Manchester City at Brentford’s Griffin Park, where Drummy’s side will play several matches this season.
A sizeable crowd turned out and the improved standard means Chelsea and other clubs no longer expect to have to send players out on loan in order to give them valuable experience.
“Going on that game, the standard of the new league is absolutely fantastic. We played in front of a crowd of two or three thousand people and that’s brilliant for the players,” Drummy told West London Sport.
“It was a great game, a great standard, and from speaking to people at Man City I know they feel the same.”
The Under-21 manager added: “If we continue to play in that kind of environment – and it’s all about the environment we create for these young players – I don’t think they’ll want to go out on loan.
“Arsenal [Under-21s] are playing Bolton at the Emirates Stadium. We’re playing some games at Stamford Bridge and the rest at Brentford, where the crowd was excellent and so are the facilities.
“To create that kind of environment, with the stadium and the roar, gets the adrenalin pumping and creates the right kind of pressure for young players.
“So now we’ll maybe just look to let players go on loan at the right time when they’re at the point – like Josh [McEachran] – of being ready to play first-team football on a regular basis.”