Chelsea’s youth coach, Neil Bath, is the driving force behind the club’s academy, which has produced talent worth £500 million.
Chelsea named Neil Bath as their academy director in 2004 after a 12-year stint with the club.
Nobody could have predicted that 17 years later, the fruits of his labors would be dominating the football landscape in England and abroad.
When the West Londoner’s youth programme was completely restructured after the die-hard Blues fan, now 55, was installed in his new position, he put a greater emphasis on acquiring and developing the best talent in London and the South-East.
Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Reece James, and Callum Hudson-Odoi have been testaments to his work in the last year, heralding a new dawn in Chelsea’s first team of talented youngsters.
Andreas Christensen, a Bath product, made his 100th appearance in a Chelsea shirt in the FA Cup fifth round tie against Barnsley, becoming the first academy graduate to do so since John Terry.
Declan Rice, Nathan Ake, Ryan Bertrand, Tariq Lamptey, and others were among those released by the club.
The figures were crunched by Transfermarkt, a German website that offers conservative player transfer values.
Considering Hudson-Odoi was once the subject of a £70 million bid from Bayern Munich in 2020, the transfer fees could be at least double those suggested.
Overall, SunSport believes Bath has successfully developed around £500 million worth of football talent on and off the pitch over the years.
Bath, who is now Chelsea’s head of youth development, received the Eamonn Dolan award in 2020 for his outstanding work in youth development.
For a clip on Chelsea TV, his former students lined up to pay tribute to the man who shaped them into the players they are today.
Mason Mount was one of many graduates who expressed their appreciation for his former coach.
He said, “I have nothing but praise for Neil.”
“All the academy players coming through look up to him.
“I began attending the academy when I was six years old, and he was a huge help to me.
“The way the academy is set up, the way we work, it puts us in the right mold when we’re younger to push us to keep getting better and better.”
“It shows in every game we try to play and win, and it shows in the youth academy with how many trophies we’ve won.”
Tammy Abraham revealed that her time with Bath was the “best years of his life.”
“He has demonstrated…
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