10 wonderkids Mauricio Pochettino is providing the opportunity to breakthrough at Chelsea

Mauricio Pochettino of Chelsea during a training session at Chelsea Training Ground
Mauricio Pochettino of Chelsea during a training session at Chelsea Training Ground -Credit:Darren Walsh

Pre-season training is well underway at Chelsea, albeit with a number of stars still left to return to Cohbam. The Blues' internationals are all still to return but the hardwork is already underway under the eyes of Mauricio Pochettino and his team, with only another seven days before the tour of the United States begins.

The likes of Noni Madueke and Levi Colwill will not join the group until then, while others are set to join over the course of the next seven days. However, Pochettino has found plenty of information to take on board already and has consistently spoken of providing no excuses for his side, in his short time at the club.

The former Spurs boss has been ambitious from the outset with his training sessions and hopes to set a platform for the season.

He explained: ‘Right now, we need to be competitive at the training ground. That is where things start. If we are not competitive there, we are not going to arrive where we need to be. I don’t want to give excuses for the players by saying we need time to rebuild and time to work.

"There are no excuses. We have to work hard to manage and drive [the players] forward in the way that we want. The competition doesn’t wait for anyone and we have to be ready, that much is clear."

Those standards will not have dropped despite a number of youngsters having been involved thus far, and regardless of circumstance they will have the opportunity to impress Pochettino. Perhaps, some will have the opportunity to earn a place on the pre-season tour.

READ MORE: Mauricio Pochettino has already made pre-season squad decision as Chelsea plan Levi Colwill talk

Teddy Sharman-Lowe has been involved at Cobham with the Blues lacking goalkeepers to kick off pre-season following Edouard Mendy's departure and Kepa Arrizabalaga yet to return from his break after representing spain. The 20-year-old travelled the to the under-20 World Cup with England over the summer and spent time on loan at Havant & Waterlooville last term. He is perhaps unlikely to break into the first team imminently but has had some valuable time to work with the new goalkeeping coach Toni Jimenez

Omari Hutchinson has not had to wait long to once again train with senior players having been involved a number of times last season as he made his Premier League debut for the club. The winger may find an opportunity to attack with the absence of Noni Madueke and Mykhailo Mudryk.

For many, Cesare Casadei's performances at the under-20 World Cup will have already seen him break out, but the Blues having a plan for his development, it will be interesting to see his next steps after his loan to Reading.

The Italian won both the golden ball and golden boot award representing his nation in June and will be keen to put in a positive impression with teams as highly regarded as Juventus linked to a loan move for a midfielder.

Pochettino has plenty of other under-20 World Cup players on his hands too. Andrey Santos captained Brazil in the tournament and returns from his Vasco da Gama loan, as Pochettino's only central midfielder until Conor Gallagher and Enzo Fernandez return to club duty. Santos is spending his first extended period in England and looks set to be part of Chelsea's pre-season squad for the moment.

Carney Chukwuemeka and Bashir Humphreys also played in the tournament. The former was in Chelsea's senior side last season but the Blues could consider a loan. The midfielder did not feature as much as he'd have liked last season but has the chance to press his case to Pochettino.

Humphreys returns to challenge for a spot in Chelsea's most established department in the centre of defence, but can learn from Thiago Silva and Trevoh Chalobah for the moment. He shone on loan at Paderborn in the latter half of last season, and another loan is perhaps most likely.

Alfie Gilchrist perhaps faces a similar predicament to Humphreys, having made it into Chelsea's squad at the end of last term and being a contender for the Premier League 2 player of the season. A loan may be the logical next step after an impressive 2022/23.

Jimi Tauriainen is perhaps one of the surprise faces to feature in Pochettino's sessions so far. The 19-year-old featured predominantly in midfield last term and struggled to break the starting XI in Chelsea's Premier League 2 side but made three assists in six UEFA Youth League appearances.

The Blues have also seen the introduction of two elder statesmen full backs in Malo Gusto and Ian Maatsen who sit at 20 and 21 respectively. Gusto arrives for his first extended period at the club after joining in January and appears set to challenge and support Reece James.

Maatsen returns from an impressive loan at Burnely with an uncertain future with the presence of Ben Chilwell, Marc Cucurella and Lewis Hall all at Cobham. What can be achieved in the next week could go a long way to deciding who makes it on tour and into Pochettino's squad.

Which of the following prospects would you like to see in the first team, or loaned out for experience? Swipe to have your say...