Chelsea XI’s draw at Crawley: three stand-out performers

A youthful Chelsea side, with an average age of 19 when the game kicked off, drew 1-1 with League Two side Crawley Town in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Although the game was not a classic, here are three Blues players who stood out at the Broadfield Stadium.

Jamal Blackman

In 2012, 18-year-old Blackman (pictured above) travelled to Munich for the Champions League final as the Blues’ fourth-choice goalkeeper, behind Petr Cech, Ross Turnbull and Hilario. Five years on and not a lot has changed, only the players blocking his way now are Thibaut Courtois, Willy Caballero and Eduardo. Too old for the development squad, another loan – after spending last season at Wycombe – seems inevitable, but in his hour against Crawley he was calm and composed in everything he did, using his 6ft 6in frame to dominate his area.

Kenneth Omeruo

Another forgotten man without a first-team appearance who is destined to be farmed out again, Omeruo has 31 caps for Nigeria and, as the most experienced player, took the armband at the Broadfield Stadium. And he was a class apart at the back, showing strength, awareness and organisation, covering for the marauding full-back Josh Grant. He has played in the Netherlands and Turkey in recent years, and also for Middlesbrough, and the 23-year-old’s immediate future would still appear to be away from Stamford Bridge.

Charlie Brown

He had only been on the field five minutes when he made the breakthrough, showing good timing to break the offside trap and then a cool head to beat Yusuf Mersin in the Red Devils’ goal. The 17-year-old was signed from Ipswich last summer and scored 10 times in 20 league appearances for the Under-18s – he clearly has an eye for goal and will be one to look out for if more of the development squad are loaned out.