Armando Broja trained with the first team just months after making his first senior appearance.
When Frank Lampard took over at Chelsea, there were a few youngsters rumored to be getting a chance under the Blues legend. However, few believed players like Broja would debut, much less have an impact on the squad in the back half of the season.
The 18-year-old has risen through the ranks of the academy and now Broja is training with the first team. According to his Instagram, the striker took part in training with the men’s squad this week ahead of a potential Premier League return date being set. What impact does this have on the rest of the strikers?
First and foremost, Tammy Abraham is the man up top and that is not changing. The 22-year-old is Chelsea’s first choice striker when healthy—rightfully so. He’s going to lead the lines for the remainder of the season, but the pecking order behind him is where things get a bit foggy. Broja’s training with the first team could say a few things about the future of those in front of him.
Broja’s inclusion by Lampard almost certainly means Michy Batshuayi’s future is elsewhere. There hasn’t been much talk about the Belgian’s future in west London, but the lack of appearances following some disappointing performances speak for themselves. The writing is on the wall for Batshayi’s departure in the summer.
This also means Broja will get looks as the Blues’ third-choice striker going forward, should he be included in the match day squad.
Broja’s presence has very little impact on Olivier Giroud, however. Giroud’s great run of form before the stoppage showed Lampard and his staff that the Frenchman is a reliable back-up forward. So much so, he got an extension out of it. What that means for his future is unclear. But, his guidance is going to be invaluable to a young player like Broja, even if it’s only for a matter of weeks.
Broja’s presence at practice is a positive sign for those academy players looking to break through to the first team. It signifies that players don’t necessarily need the hype around them to make the jump, the 18-year-old striker is the embodiment of that principle.