Over the next few days we will examine 11 Chelsea prospects in every position on the pitch and analyze their potential for the first team in the future.

GK- Jamal Blackman
RB- Todd Kane
CB- Andreas Christensen
CB- Tomas Kalas
LB- Jay Dasilva
DM- Ruben Loftus-Cheek
CM- Lewis Baker
CAM- Izzy Brown
CAM- Lucas Piazon
ST- Dominic Solanke
ST- Patrick Bamford

The Case For Jay Dasilva

Dasilva is the academy player punching above his weight the most at the moment. He was a U18 regular last season when he was 15 years old and has earned a bit of playing time for the U21s before he turned 17 last month. Dasilva has also been capped for England’s U16 and U17 squads and has started the last few fixtures. Not since Nathaniel Chalobah has there been a player so far ahead in their development. Dasilva is so talented that former Arsenal striker has gone on to claim that Dasilva is already the best left back in the Premier League.

Dasilva has quality in all areas of the pitch. During Chelsea’s preseason tournament, Dasilva showed tremendous ability in getting forward while demonstrating composure in the back. What is most impressive is his consistency. It is nearly impossible to point to a single game over the last few years and claim that Dasilva has not been one of the better players on the pitch. At such a young age, (and having been at Chelsea for only 3 years) most of Dasilva’s success has come as a result of natural ability. He still has plenty of untapped potential that could make him a mainstay at left back for years to come.

The Case Against Jay Dasilva

The smallest defender on Chelsea’s back line is Cesar Azpilicueta at 5’10” and he is a special defender. Dasilva is officially listed at just under 5’4″. He severely lacks the size that Mourinho craves in every position on the pitch. While Dasilva has done a find job of battling the physicality at his current level, he will find it difficult adapting to the size of Premier League forwards and wingers. He will also offer little in terms of defending against aerial threats.

A player that had a similar path was Islam Feruz. Feruz took the academy by storm scoring 32 goals in his first two seasons and earning playing time during a few preseason friendlies. At 5’4″, it was hard to see him getting any playing time at striker for Chelsea and had been loaned out to a few teams with poor results. While they are two different players, Davila’s lack of size could cause the same problems.

Outlook

There has been a real lack of quality coming out of the youth academy in the left back position recently (Adam Nditi and Aziz Deen-Conteh) leaving the left back spot open for contention. Nathan Ake (a center back converted to left back) has struggled for playing time and is not necessarily a top quality option. Azpilicueta is still young enough to hold down the spot for a few years while the future of Filipe Luis remains in question. Dasvila is contracted through the end of next season and will undoubtedly sign his first professional contract soon. The opportunity for Dasilva is there, it will just depend on whether or not his size hinders his future.

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