Chelsea Football Club’s Youth Academy has enjoyed a hugely successful couple of years. Under Maurizio Sarri we saw Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi establish themselves as viable first-team options and more recently under Frank Lampard, there have been debuts being handed out to youth academy products left, right and centre.
The success of bridging the gap between First Team and the Youth Academy has been so great that could be forgiven for forgetting that there is still a lorry-load of Youth Players just waiting for their chance and they now know that it’s there for them if they put the work in.
After the success of both Reeces James, Dujon Sterling and Tariq Lamptey prior to his transfer, it seems Chelsea is blessed in the development of right-backs. Today, we’re going to take a focus on London-born 17 year old Valentino Livramento.
Born on November 12th 2002, this guy is just 17 years old. But at the rate he’s developing, it would be a shock if we didn’t see him start to feature in a generous cup draw next season if a loan isn’t deemed suitable. On the other hand, Chelsea management will no doubt be licking their lips at the opportunity to send Valentino to a League One or Championship side. The sheer quality on show combined with the number of games involved in a single season gives a young player the ultimate chance to learn and develop.
As you can guess by his name, Valentino is of Italian descent, but as it stands he looks likely to select England as his country of choice for international football if the right opportunities fall his way. He was unlucky in the sense that injury stopped him appearing for England at the u17 European Championships in 2019, but his time will come regardless.
One of the main things that stands out about Valentino is his versatility, like Tariq Lamptey he can do more than just a job anywhere up the right-side of the pitch. Despite being smaller than someone like Reece James, with his height falling at 5ft8″, this certainly hasn’t hampered his effectiveness and he is still a powerful figure up the right hand side.
Who better than @chelseayouth to describe the talented full back? ChelseaYouth describes Valentino as “the next full back off the production line, a force of nature, boundless energy and end product, and so decisive with it.” Despite his perhaps unimposing figure, Valentino has also been utilised effectively as a right-sided centre back.
Despite being technically gifted, it is his physicality and work rate which stand out most of all and can allow him to run up and down the pitch all game. However, all in all he is extremely well-rounded given where he is at in terms of his development.
All in all, Livramento is an exceptional talent. Whilst his path into a spot in the first team may seem to be difficult as a result of the dominance Reece James has in the position, he is a very different player to Reece. His versatility means he can be so much more than a right-back and if he carries on at the rate he’s developing, expect to see a lot more of Valentino in the coming years.