Frank Lampard's first season in the Stamford Bridge dugout has been characterised by a commitment to play fast-paced, free-flowing attacking football spurred on by a core of academy graduates throughout the team.
While results have been patchy in recent weeks, Lampard's allegiance to Chelsea's youth has been unwavering since his first day in charge, with the likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori regulars in the starting eleven.
The latest name to join that list of young English talent breaking into the senior side is Tino Anjorin. The 18-year-old attacking midfielder announced himself to the wider public in Chelsea's 7-0 demolition of Wolves in the FA Youth Cup on Monday night, with Anjorin playing a starring role as the Blues progressed.
Yet, Anjorin has been in Lampard's thoughts for some time, gaining his first senior appearance in the League Cup earlier this season and looks set for more run-outs with the first team in the weeks to come. So, here's five things to know about Chelsea's latest academy star.
10 Years in the Making
Anjorin may be just 18 years of age, but the 6'1 midfielder has been with Chelsea for more than a decade already.
Anjorin's father, Sheriff, quickly spotted his son's talent at a young age. In an interview with Goal, Anjorin senior said: "When he was three-and-a-half, he went and joined in a training session with six year olds.
"He was dribbling better and shooting with more power than those older than him, it was like he had been beamed back down to earth as a complete player overnight!
"After that he was always the standout player, people knew him before he even knew how to spell his name."
Youth Team Success
Chelsea took full advantage of Anjorin's early talent, along with the ability of many other prospects in their prolific academy.
A 15-year-old Anjorin was part of the record-breaking Under-18 Chelsea side which claimed an unmatched four titles in the 2017/18 campaign. Anjorin made 20 appearances across the U18 Premier League and FA Youth Cup that season, scoring in the final of the latter as Chelsea ran out 4-0 winners against Arsenal.
Jody Morris, Lampard's assistant at Chelsea's senior side, was the manager of that youth team and will be well aware of Anjorin's strengths, which shouldn't hurt the youngster's prospects of another senior team call-up.
Idolised Frank Lampard
Anjorin grew up in Poole, a two-hour drive from Stamford Bridge, but idolised Chelsea's current coach and club legend Frank Lampard, even modelling his game after the former midfielder.
The 18-year-old's father was quick to make the comparison between the two, explaining to Goal: "
Lampard must have cemented his hero status in Anjorin's eyes when he gave the youngster his first team debut in the Carabao Cup against Grimsby Town in September.
Chelsea won the game 7-1, with fellow academy graduates Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James among the scorers as Anjorin enjoyed his first 23 minutes of first-team action, and surely not his last.
An Eye for Goal
Past four Wolves players and in the back of the net! — Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 11, 2020
This Tino Anjorin goal, plus six others from last night's FA Youth Cup win can be seen on the Chelsea app! pic.twitter.com/tAG1XR7qpi
Much like his football idol, Anjorin has an eye for goal. The midfielder added two to his tally in the recent victory over Wolves in the FA Youth Cup, with his second, Chelsea's third, particularly easy on the eye as he dribbled past multiple defenders before lifting the ball deftly over the goalkeeper.
Across Chelsea's Under-18 and Under-23 sides, Anjorin has 25 goals to his name in 52 domestic outings, with eight this campaign alone.
Anjorin will hope to avoid the same injury woes that have befallen Loftus-Cheek, but the 18-year-old is already well on his way to replicating his ascent to Chelsea's first team and the England setup.
England Youth International
Anjorin made his debut for England's Under-16 side two days after his 15th birthday and has won 17 caps across four different age brackets.
Four goals in seven appearances for the Under-18 side saw him swiftly promoted to the next tier as the young midfielder continues to excel at every level he competes at.
With Lampard at the helm, and Morris by his side, youth continues to be a priority for this new-look Chelsea side. And with Anjorin making mincemeat of his underage opponents, it's only a matter of time before he becomes a more regular member of the first-team squad.
Source : 90min