Stuart Peace has named his under-21 19 man squad which will face Uzbekistan on the 10th of August and it is full of Chelsea’s freshest talent. We have the biggest contribution to the England team with 4 of our youngsters looking to impress. Jack Cork, Michael Mancienne, Ryan Bertrand and Daniel Sturridge have all been handed this privilege and all are becoming more recognised in the Premier league.

If you have never seen these players on the pitch before, I hope to provide a fairly in depth description of the type of player that Uzbekistan are up against.

First of all we have Jack Cork, who, if I’m honest, is looking very promising indeed. Following loans to Coventry and Watford, Cork has had the opportunity of some Premier League action this season with an 11 appearance loan spell at Burnley which ended with a goal against Spurs on the final day of the season. On his Premier League debut against Aston Villa, he showed just why he was a Chelsea player with a good performance, grabbing an assist and being part of the build up to another goal. However the final result wasn’t so great with Burnley being on the wrong end of a 5-2 hammering. So what are Cork’s best qualities? Well, he is keen on the short passing technique and has a good first touch. He is also great in the tackle and winning the ball back.

His intelligence shows with his ability to retain the ball. I feel he is more effective as a midfielder rather than his alternate positions in defence. Cork is a player that would fit in at Arsenal well with his short passing and hopefully fitting in at Chelsea won’t be too challenging for the young Londoner.

Second up we have Ryan Bertrand, another local London boy. Bertrand is a player packed with bundles of pace. A player that is keen on getting forward with an attacking mind set. Formerly a left winger, he has been altered to a more defensive role at left back and in doing so, has been hailed and tipped as the next Ashley Cole. So far, Bertrand has only scored the one goal at senior level and that was with Reading on loan last season. However, we cannot look forward to seeing Ryan in a Chelsea shirt this year, as he has already been snapped up on loan with Nottingham Forest until the beginning of 2011. His performance against Uzbekistan could prove vital to his chances at Chelsea next year and he will be looking to heavily impress for his loan club too. Watch out for him for England!

Michael Mancienne next, perhaps one of our more well known youth team talents after his loan spells at Wolves gave him a name for himself. Mancienne’s determination showed greatly when Wolves faced Arsenal this season, and he put in an excellent performance which got some eyebrows raised. His accurate crunching tackles left some Arsenal players stranded at certain points throughout the game and he also made a pitch length track back to stop Arsenal from scoring at the end of the game. I am sure that this season will settle Mancienne’s future as he will be desperate to get some first team football and rightly so he deserves it. I believe that if he doesn’t get his wish, another club would be more than willing to splash out a fair bit for the 22 year old. But his versatility could be the key that Chelsea need this season after releasing Belletti. Mancienne has the ability to play in numerous positions from right back through the defence and into the midfield. For Mancienne’s sake I hope he gets some first team football this season. So, does he play like
anyone else in the world of football? Well, I would regard his defensive midfielder role, similar to that of Rosenberg’s Anthony Annan from Ghana.

Last but by no means least, Daniel Sturridge. Not from London but Birmingham, Sturridge arrived from Manchester City on a deal under the £10m range but as of yet has not found consistency in his Chelsea diet. One positive we can take from Sturridge’s season is that he found the net 4 times in his 4 appearances in the FA cup. With pace and skill along with a hard shot on goal at his disposal, we are sure to see a lot more from the England star this season. What has to be admired about the young forward is the composure he shows in front of goal. He is always keen to wait for the right time to shoot and doesn’t rush when faced with an opportunity. Equipped with pace, skill, composure and spirit, Daniel Sturridge has been the most seen at Chelsea out of the 4 Blue stars this season that have been called up for playing against Uzbekistan and with close similarities to Nicolas Anelka, it is no surprise why. He also netted a long range effort against Ajax in one of our pre-season friendlies. Alongside Andy Carroll and Danny Welbeck in the under 21s setup we have a highly
talented strike force that could develop into the future of English football.

Keep your eyes open for these four Chelsea talents on the 10th!

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