Patrick Bamford has indicated Chelsea could have been sitting on the next Dele Alli and Harry Kane, but just not have given them a chance to show what they can do.
The Blues have regularly tasted success at youth level in recent years, but few of their starlets have been trusted with regular first team action on a week in, week out basis.
Chelsea have continued to rely on big-money signings and on deadline day chose to bring in Davide Zappacosta and Danny Drinkwater, rather than look internally for solutions.
Bamford, who Chelsea loaned out to MK Dons, Derby, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace, Norwich and Burnley, eventually exited Stamford Bridge on a permanent basis in January this year, joining Middlesbrough.
The striker is well aware of the talents in the youth ranks at Chelsea, while he has also seen those plying their trade in England’s youth ranks, and believes the next Alli or Kane may simply not be getting a chance.
Pointing at two players who have now moved on from Chelsea, Bamford told the League Paper: “People talk about Dele and Harry Kane. But there are so many young guys out there who I’m sure would be able to do similar things. They just don’t get a chance.
“Look at Nathaniel Chalobah. He’s gone to Watford now, he’s playing regularly.
“I think the Premier League will see exactly what he’s about now. He’s going to be a top, top player.
“Players like Dom Solanke, who I’ve seen in the youth set-up at Chelsea. Quality player.
“He’s gone to Liverpool and he’s already getting a good chunk of game time”, Bamford added.
Chelsea had as many as 38 young talents out on loan in the 2015/16 season and only a handful have managed to since play for the Blues first team.
In Chelsea’s last match, a win over Everton, none of the starting eleven or the three substitutes used by Antonio Conte were British, while the Toffees’ team featured eight British players in the starting eleven, with a further two introduced from the bench.