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    Chelsea talent Charlie Webster, 18, has been called the ‘next Jadon Sancho’ and wowed Kevin De Bruyne in KDB Cup

    GENERATIONAL talents are becoming the norm at Stamford Bridge.In the past few years, thanks to Frank Lampard, Thomas Tuchel and now Graham Potter, Chelsea’s youth talents are thriving in the first team.
    Chelsea wonderkid Charlie Webster is next off the conveyor belt at Stamford BridgeCredit: Getty
    Webster might get his opportunity in the Chelsea first team under Grahan PotterCredit: Getty
    Mason Mount wowed all and is the back-to-back Chelsea player of the season, while Reece James seems to be winning the bumper race to be Gareth Southgate’s first-choice right-back.
    And now, there’s another name you can add to the list of youngsters hoping to get their chance under Potter.
    England’s Charlie Webster, 18, is a rising star and has already been tracked by Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund.
    He’s been called the ‘next Jadon Sancho’, and with the Bundesliga giants losing the Three Lions winger last summer they might just make a beeline for Charlie.
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    MAKING AN IMPRESSION
    At just 15, Webster had Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne wowed by his ability.
    The setting was the prestigious KDB Cup – an international U15 tournament named after the Belgium ace – with the midfielder as the guest of honour.
    Players from clubs including Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and PSG were on show – all desperate to impress.
    It was Chelsea that ended up being victorious – beating Racing Genk on penalties after an exciting 2-2 draw.
    Star of the show was Webster, and his performances didn’t go unnoticed.
    Blues starlet Webster has been called the ‘next Jadon Sancho’
    Webster starred at the KDB Cup in 2019

    He was awarded player of the tournament – winning a golden ball, as well as a signed De Bruyne shirt.
    One feels it could be the first of many awards headed Webster’s way in the future.
    A CULTURED MIDFIELDER
    In similar vein to Billy Gilmour, who joined Brighton in the summer, Webster is a cultured midfielder – good on the ball and smart in possession.
    However, unlike the Scot who prefers to dictate play from deep – Webster likes to get in the box and score goals.
    He started playing football at the Pezzaz Street Soccer academy, which have bases in Wiltshire and Hampshire, before joining Chelsea in 2016 at the age of 12.
    Coaches there believe he has a bright future in the game, and in the past Webster has spoken about his football dream.
    “Obviously, it’s to play for this brilliant club,” he told a reporter at the KDB Cup after starring for the Blues.
    Webster is a cultured midfielder, good on the ball and in possession
    In the past Webster has said it was his dream to play for “brilliant” ChelseaCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    LEADING BY EXAMPLE
    Webster’s qualities have seen him earmarked as a leader.
    In 2019, he captained England’s U16 team in a match against Republic of Ireland – scoring his first international goal.
    He’s also played for the Three Lions’ U17s – coming off the bench in a 4-1 rout over the USA in 2020.
    And that was the same month Webster made his U18 Premier League debut for Chelsea against Southampton, followed by his U23 debut last April.
    Then in January 2021, Charlie signed his first professional contract with the club on his 17th birthday. Given his progress, you can imagine it’ll be the first of many.
    Webster has captained England at U16 levelCredit: Getty More

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    Chelsea stars Reece and Lauren James become the first brother and sister pair to play for England and are ‘living dream’

    IN the case of the James clan, it’s very much about keeping it in the family.This weekend, Lauren James earned her first cap for England – coming as a substitute against Austria as Sarina Wiegman’s European Champions booked their place at the World Cup with a 2-0 win.
    Chelsea stars Reece and Lauren James are the first brother and sister to play for EnglandCredit: EPA
    Reece and Lauren James have become professional footballers with the help of dad NigelCredit: Instagram / @rjames
    James made her debut for the Three Lions against Austria over the weekend
    In doing so, she joined her famous brother Reece in becoming a full England international. They are now the first brother and sister to play for the Three Lions, in what is a remarkable achievement.
    While Reece has just signed a new five-year deal with the Blues

    It’s astounding that two talented footballers of the men’s and women’s game are even playing professionally, not to mention representing their country.
    But the London-born pair are living the dream. Part of their success is due to their incredible father, Nigel.
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    A motorbike accident halted his promising career, after spells at Luton Town and Southampton.
    Nigel found his true calling through mentoring youngsters and later set up Nigel James Elite Coaching programme.
    It’s testament to him, his son and his daughter would eventually become pros.
    PARKLIFE
    Reece, 22, and Lauren, 20, grew up in London with football an ongoing backdrop in their lives.
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    As well as a father with footballing aspirations, their elder brother Joshua was on the books of Fulham and Reading. Their mother Emma worked admirably for the NHS.
    If the three siblings weren’t kicking a ball against a wall, they would be down the park honing their skills.
    Often, their dad who would pass on his knowledge and put the three through training drills and exercises.
    Lauren and Reece have always shared a tight bond together
    The siblings grew up in London with football as their backdrop
    Reece and Lauren enjoy a kickabout togetherCredit: Instagram @laurennjjames
    Dad Nigel coached Reece, Lauren and their brother Joshua in the local park
    “We grew up as a three,” Reece of Chelsea proudly told the Blues official website.
    “Obviously, Josh learned from my dad and then it just passed its way down. I started playing because my brother played, and my sister played because I played.
    “We all used to play every day together at the park and over time we all gradually got better. There was a field behind my house, with two pitches, and every day I’d be playing football, either in the field or in the street.”
    Lauren, who joined her brother at Chelsea this summer, echoes the sentiment that the beautiful game dominated their lives.
    “All I ever knew was football, football and football,” she told The Telegraph.
    “My brothers got me into football. Whether it was when Josh was at Fulham or when Reece was at the Chelsea academy, I was there kicking the ball against the fence.
    “I’ve always had a football and it has just taken me to where I am now.”
    PATHWAY TO SUCCESS
    Reece was an early bloomer when it came to his footballing talent.
    By the age of six he joined Chelsea’s impressive development academy, where he progressed through the ranks.
    James joined Chelsea’s youth set-up aged six
    James progressed through Chelsea’s youth teams and won a FA Youth CupCredit: Getty – Contributor
    However, it took him some time to find his best position. He started off as a striker, moved into midfield and then had to learn the art of defending.
    Once he cemented the right-back as his own, there was no stopping him. In the 2017-18 season, he appeared for England at U18, U19 and U20 level.
    A loan at Wigan Athletic the following campaign saw Reece named as their Player of the Year.
    Once he made his debut against Grimsby in the EFL Cup in 2019, scoring one and assisting two, he could no longer be ignored for a first team spot.
    Lauren might be slightly younger than Reece, but her achievements are just as impressive.
    At 13 she joined Arsenal, and because of her experience with playing with her brothers was encouraged to train with the boys’ team.
    Two years later, the prolific forward made her first team debut for the Gunners women’s team – beating Reece to the punch there.
    She created history in the process becoming the youngest player in Arsenal’s history male or female to make their bow for the club.
    In 2017, she moved to the newly reformed Manchester United women’s team to take on a new challenge in a city she never knew.
    In 2017, Lauren James joined Manchester United’s newly formed women’s teamCredit: Getty
    Since joining the Red Devils, James has thrived scoring 27 goals in 54 gamesCredit: Getty
    But that didn’t deter the brave teen, who scored 14 goals in 18 league games as the Red Devils won promotion from the Championship at the first time of asking to the Women’s Super League.
    This summer, Lauren joined Reece at Chelsea – where she has scored once in her five games so far this campaign.
    BATTLING RACISM TOGETHER
    As is a sad indictment of our times, both Reece and Lauren have been targeted with online racist abuse.
    They are united in their efforts to encourage social media companies to do more with their platforms in stopping racism.
    “When we both get messages like that, we turn to each other and discuss it,” Reece said.
    “I think everyone agrees and knows that what’s happening with social media and racism is wrong. Everyone says they want to change, but not many things are changing.”
    MUTUAL RESPECT
    Although they share a competitive nature on the pitch, Reece and Lauren only have a mutual respect for each other’s achievements.
    But Lauren knew she had to emulate her brother by following his footsteps into the England squad.
    “We are not usually competitive,” she revealed.
    “When he got his senior England call-up, it was like, “Right, he got his, I’ve got to get mine now. That’s probably the only time and I laugh about it now.”
    Reece earned his first cap against Wales last October, while a month later Lauren received a senior national team call-up as part of a 29-player training camp at St George’s Park.
    Despite their careers mirroring one another, Reece is adamant they can’t be compared.
    Reece James has become a regular in the England squad since his first call-up last OctoberCredit: Marc Aspland – The Times
    His sister Lauren James celebrated an England call-up last November when she was included in a 29-man squadCredit: Getty
    “I wouldn’t say there’s competition,” he said.
    “You know, she is my sister. Our games are the same, our professions are the same, but it’s still different. I play men’s football when she plays women’s football, you can’t compare them.”
    No. But you can applaud their success. They are, after all, living the dream. More

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    Real Madrid star Antonio Rudiger reveals hardest XI he has faced from ‘best ever’ Lionel Messi to Cristiano Ronaldo

    REAL Madrid star Antonio Rudiger named his best XI of stars he has faced during his career – reserving special praise for the ‘best ever’, Lionel Messi.The German defender, now 29, revealed all in an interview with Sky Sports in 2020.

    And he named a host of Premier League stars, including two current Liverpool players.
    But when asked who he believed to be the greatest player of all-time, Rudiger aimed to settle the debate by claiming it would be Messi for him.
    The Blues defender – who left the Blues this summer for LaLiga- said: “If I had to pick one it would be Messi.
    “Is he the best ever? I didn’t see Pele or Diego Maradona playing because that was not my time, so it’s Messi.”
    Check out what Rudiger had to say on every player in his best XI…
    GOALKEEPER – Manuel Neuer
    “There were some times, around 2014, where he was unbeatable. He was the goalkeeper.
    “There are a lot of good goalkeepers, I played with Alisson at Roma, he’s a beast, and I’ve played with Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Bernd Leno.
    “There are a lot of good goalkeepers, but I pick Neuer.
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    “In the 2014 World Cup against Algeria, I was watching from home and he was unbeatable, he was almost playing like a defender, clearing up the long balls Algeria put over the defence.
    “He took everything and I was shocked.”RIGHT-BACK – Aaron Wan-Bissaka
    “This guy is hard to beat, with his tackles – his sliding tackle is amazing.
    “He is progressing very well, and I like him very much.”
    CENTRE-BACK – Sergio Ramos
    “Everyone knows why, this guy knows how to do his job in defence and is also very important at offensive set pieces.
    “He is a commanding defender and a great anywhere.”
    Van Dijk and Robertson both make it into Rudiger’s best XI
    CENTRE-BACK – Virgil van Dijk
    “In the last two years, he’s shown he is definitely one of the best, even maybe the best at the moment. He is a beast.
    “You always look up to those kind of players because these two centre-backs are, at the moment, the best centre-back, so of course you can learn something from them.
    “Everyone has their own style of playing, but you can learn from them.”
    LEFT-BACK – Andrew Robertson
    “This guy doesn’t stop running, he is active the whole time, going forward and backwards.
    “He is very good at crossing and overall, both defensively and offensively, he is doing a very good job.”
    CENTRE-MID – Andres Iniesta
    “The vision he had for football was massive, I’d never seen anything like it.
    “His combination game was top class.”
    Kante and De Bruyne start in the midfield of Rudiger’s XI
    CENTRE-MID – N’Golo Kante
    “The guy is everywhere, and he loves to tackle.
    “These kind of players look for the contest, they find it and they win it, that is impressive, especially when you consider what kind of guy he is.
    “Wow.”
    CENTRE-MID – Kevin De Bruyne
    “I played against him in Germany.
    “In those days, it was hell to play against Wolfsburg because they were a really tough side with good quality players, and of course he was the best in that team.
    “He has everything; his crossing, passing, the way he shoots on his left and right foot and his technical ability – he is really, really good.”
    Ronaldo and Messi start on the wings in Rudiger’s toughest opponents XI
    RIGHT-WING – Lionel Messi
    “The next two stand out, they are in a different world, they are different quality.
    “When you’re playing against Messi, the feeling you have is that it’s just up to him, if he is in a good mood or is having a good day you cannot stop him.
    “That is my honest opinion.”
    LEFT-WING – Cristiano Ronaldo
    “The same applies with Ronaldo. They have two different ways of playing, one to try and score goals and the other is enjoying his football.
    “If I had to pick one it would be Messi. Is he the best ever? I didn’t see Pele or Diego Maradona playing because that was not my time, so it’s Messi.”
    STRIKER – Sergio Aguero
    “For me, he is a top striker. He’s small, compact and a goalscorer who scores for fun.
    “He’s the type of striker that if you give him an inch that’s enough, it’s tough to mark him.
    “For a big defender, his centre of gravity is very low and it’s difficult because of his good movement.” More

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    Roman Abramovich used to text former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti a question mark whenever the Blues lost

    ROMAN ABRAMOVICH used to look to former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti for guidance when things weren’t going so well.The former Blues owner appointed the Italian in 2009 and he went on to win the double before being axed two years later.
    Roman Abramovich and Carlo Ancelotti exchanged extremely brief text messages
    Abramovich would send Ancelotti a question mark
    Ancelotti is still highly regarded among Blues staff and supporters.
    And it is has been revealed that he remained in contact with Abramovich and the pair shared text messages over the team’s struggles.
    Sky Italia journalist Fabio Caressa said: “Ancelotti told me that Abramovich also texted him, always the same, especially in times when things were not going well.
    “He only sent him a question mark.
    “Instead he, the genius that is Carlo, answered him only with an exclamation mark.”
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    It appears the 63-year-old was in no mood to give his former club any of his wisdom at the time of the messages.
    Ancelotti was managing rival club Everton at the time of some of the messages.
    During that time, Ancelotti oversaw a 1-0 Toffees win over Chelsea at Goodison Park.
    Perhaps the Russian sent him yet another exclamation mark on that occasion.
    Ancelotti departed Merseyside last summer, returning to another of his former clubs – Real Madrid.
    The Italian beat Max Allegri to the role and went on to win LaLiga and the Champions League last term. More

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    Chelsea legend John Terry told ex-boss Antonio Conte to leave him out of squad for entire final season to give Ake a run

    JOHN TERRY has revealed he told former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte to leave him out of the squad for the entirety of his final season – in order to give Nathan Ake a chance.JT was itching to see the Dutch youngster, 21 at the start of the 2016-17 campaign, given a chance at Stamford Bridge, even if it meant sacrificing his own minutes.
    Terry asked Ake to be handed more chances during his final season at the clubCredit: GETTY
    Terry was excited to see what a then 21-year-old Ake could produce
    Ake left Chelsea for Bournemouth and then secured a 2020 transfer to Man City, where he has won two Prem titles
    Speaking with snooker legend Stephen Hendry on an Instagram Live Q&A, Terry revealed he told Conte, who returned to Stamford Bridge on Sunday with Tottenham and was involved in a bust up with Thomas Tuchel, to give Ake the senior match-day experience, even if it was watching from the bench.
    But Ake only played four times all season and was sold to Bournemouth in the summer after Terry’s retirement, having spent the first half of the season on loan on the South Coast.
    Chelsea did go on to win the Premier League that season, with a back-three of Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill.
    Looking back at his final season in West London, Terry said: “I went to see [Conte] around Christmas time.
    “I was like ‘gaffer, listen you’re putting me on the bench and we’ve got Nathan Ake’, who for me was an unbelievably talented young player.
    “I said ‘put him on the bench because the chances of him coming on are really slim, it’s going to be great experience for him’.
    “‘He was on the bench for about seven, eight or ten games, and he ended up playing against Spurs in the [FA Cup] semi-final that year.
    “And it was just little stuff like that. I’m not sure players would have done what I did.”
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    Ake ultimately played just four times for Chelsea in 2016-17 before he was sold to Bournemouth for £20million.
    Terry quit the club to join Aston Villa, where he was assistant manager, but recently returned to Chelsea to join their academy staff.
    Ake, now 27, has gone on to receive international recognition with Holland and signed for Manchester City in a £40m deal in 2020, winning the Premier League in his first season at the Etihad.
    He also helped the club secure back-to-back Prem titles last season and also has an EFL Cup to his name.
    The Dutchman has started both of City’s opening Prem games this term, keeping two clean sheets in the process. More

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    Chelsea’s brilliant academy was nearly SHUT DOWN by ex-boss for being a ‘waste of time’, Michael Emenalo claims

    EX-CHELSEA chief Michael Emenalo claimed a former manager tried to CLOSE the club’s academy.Frank Lampard put his trust in the youth during his debut season in 2019-20 after the club were put under a transfer embargo – and managed to guide the young Blues into the Champions League.
    Michael Emenalo claims a former Chelsea boss tried shutting down the academyCredit: PA:Press Association
    And Chelsea have continued to have impressed ever since – now under the leadership of Thomas Tuchel – with academy graduates Mason Mount, Reece James, Andreas Christensen and Callum Hudson-Odoi, to name a few, all shining.
    But things could have turned out differently had a former boss succeeded in persuading Roman Abramovich to pull the plug on his youth funding.
    Emenalo, who served as Chelsea’s technical director between 2011 and 2017 after spending the previous four years as chief scout and assistant first team coach, worked above the likes of Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte and Roberto Di Matteo.
    He claims former supremo Abramovich was urged to ditch his academy and focus instead on pouring money into the first team.
    But the Russian did not listen to his manager, and Emenalo reckons the decision is proving to be one of his best ever.
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Ronaldo funds, Scamacca to West Ham DONE deal
    The former Monaco chief told the Telegraph: “I defended the academy when there was pressure and doubt and pessimism.
    “There was a time when there was a clamour to do more and a manager came in to make a presentation to say the academy was not necessary.
    “The argument was it takes too long, we don’t have time, we should use it to make some money here and there, and that the owner should stop pumping money into it because it seemed like a waste.
    “But that wasn’t my idea and I had to fight against it.
    “This is where I am very, very proud of the owner Roman Abramovich because of the trust he had in me and the willingness to listen to me and give the academy time.
    “He would not abandon it. He believed in it and in me, and I can’t thank him enough for that.” More