U18 Premier League National Final 2018: Where are the Successful Young Blues Now?

It’s been five years since Chelsea’s youngsters capped off a memorable season by retaining the Under-18 Premier League Title. The Blues academy has produced and nurtured a wealth of talented players who are currently plying their trade in the top flight with a number of those quadruple-winning heroes now working under Mauricio Pochettino. 

Chelsea Under 18s had already clinched the FA Youth Cup, Premier League Cup and also managed to finish top of the southern section of the Premier League prior to tallying up a fourth triumph at Leigh Sports Village. 

We’ve decided to rewind the clock and focus on those who had played a significant role in this hugely successful and trophy-laden campaign. 

Manager – Jody Morris 

The former midfielder left the club to become Frank Lampard’s assistant at Derby County, yet he returned to Stamford Bridge to continue working under the club legend in 2019.

His first venture into senior management wasn’t quite as successful with Morris dismissed by League Two outfit Swindon Town after just three months in charge.  

Goalkeeper – Jamie Cumming 

Although Jamie Cumming remains on Chelsea’s books, the goalkeeper has become a regular starter for numerous clubs across the EFL. Frank Lampard handed the young stopper a new four year contract in 2019, however, his current deal looks unlikely to be extended this summer. 

Cumming is unlikely to be short of suitors having impressed at Oxford this season as well as having previously kept 15 clean sheets for a struggling MK Dons outfit. 

Defenders – Dujon Sterling, Juan Castillo, Marc Guehi, Recce James, Tariq Lamptey

Dujon Sterling enjoyed several loan spells in the EFL. Although he was told by former Blues boss Thomas Tuchel to prepare for pre-season training, he was sent out on loan to Stoke shortly before signing a four-year deal with Rangers. He’s been singled out for praise by Gers boss Phillipe Clement for deputising in midfield. 

Juan Castillo was loaned to his native Netherlands in 2019 and featured for Jong Ajax and ADO Den Haag before returning to West London in 2021. He spent time at Birmingham and Charlton on loan before leaving Chelsea in the summer of 2023. 

Marc Guehi is one of a number of players who have continued their development at the highest level. The 23-year old featured for the first team, coming off the bench against Leicester in May 2019. He spent time on loan at Swansea and was a virtual ever-present for the Welsh club before Crystal Palace shelled out £18m to secure his services. 

Unlike Guehi, Reece James has remained at Cobham and has become a regular starter under successive managers. Following an eye-catching loan spell at Wigan, the right-back was handed his debut in September 2019. Unfortunately, he’s struggled with injuries recently and only returned to action on May 11th. Nevertheless, his recovery may give him half a chance of making England’s Euro 2024 squad. International managers are now able to select up to 26 players which undoubtedly improves James’ chances of getting the nod from Gareth Southgate. Aside from the FIFA World Cup, the Euros is always one of the most-watched sporting events on TV. There is always plenty of coverage of the tournament, with many organisations allowing their staff to take additional time off in order to watch games whereas other firms such as pubs bookmakers tend to see a significant increase in turnover during big games. As a result, the latter tend to offer a wide range of additional promotions for punters to use when betting on the tournament. With so many options available, it can be confusing and time-consuming to individually sift through all of these bonuses. Luckily, there are a number of sites which have put together a comprehensive list of free bets for UK punters to choose from. England are amongst the favourites to succeed this summer with the majority of the bookmakers, and James will be hoping to be part of the Three Lions squad who are expected to progress to the latter stages with the minimum of fuss. 

Hillingdon-born Tariq Lamptey had been with the Blues for a decade before playing an integral part in their success at Under 18 level. Despite featuring for the first team, the right-back was transferred to Brighton, signing a three year contract with the upwardly-mobile Seagulls. 

Midfielders and Attackers – Conor Gallagher, Billy Gilmour, Charlie Brown, George McEachran and Callum-Hudson Odoi

Conor Gallagher was voted Chelsea Academy Player of the Year and the midfielder was on loan at Charlton and Swansea before spending a couple of seasons with West Brom and Crystal Palace. 

He returned to the club with renewed vigour and finally made his debut from the bench on the opening weekend of the 2022 campaign. Gallagher has gone from strength-to-strength and has become an integral part of Pochettino’s midfield this season. 

Billy Gilmour is another player who is likely to feature at this summer’s Euros. The Scotland international plays alongside Tariq Lamptey at Brighton and has recently returned from an injury. The south coast club have struggled without his services, winning just one of those seven matches  

Unlike many of his teammates, Charlie Brown has found life tough in recent years. He barely made an appearance for USG before heading to MK Dons. He signed for Cheltenham, yet wasn’t helped by successive injuries and was released after just one season. He signed for Morecambe last summer and having made a slow start to life in Lancashire, he became a key figure and featured in 24 consecutive games for the Shrimps. 

George McEachran is another player who has lost his way in recent seasons and struggled to build on his potential. He spent a couple of seasons warming the bench in the Eredivisie before pitching up at Swindon. He made 45 appearances in Wiltshire, however, he is one of several players set to be released this summer. 

Callum Hudson-Odoi remains a bit of an enigma. He impressed enough to feature in the first team squad and was a regular starter in the FA Cup. The pacy wideman was reportedly subject to multiple bids from Bayern Munich and although he didn’t end up playing at the Allianz, he did find himself in the Bundesliga, on loan for Bayer Leverkusen. Having turned down bids of £35m, Chelsea were kicking themselves when the underperforming winger was sold to Nottingham Forest for a fraction of that price. He’s scored eight in 18 appearances for the Tricky Trees this season.