Youths & Reserves Win As Mellis Departs

Chelsea’s Reserve team continued a fine week across all levels for the Blues with a 4-2 win away to Newcastle on Monday night.

A brace from Romelu Lukaku – taking the Belgian to seven goals in as many games – and one apiece from Nathaniel Chalobah and Billy Clifford secured an impressive three points for Dermot Drummy’s men.

They won’t be successfully defending their national title from last May but they do look like finishing the season strongly and were able to welcome Adam Phillip back from another long-term injury last night.

The 20 year-old forward, who had scored 11 times in 15 appearances before damaging his cruciate ligament back in August, made his return well ahead of schedule and played some 20 minutes of the match at the Northumberland FA’s headquarters.

January signing Patrick Bamford impressed in a matchday which featured thirteen players born or developed in England, pouring a degree of scorn on pre-match comments from the Newcastle camp that the Blues squad was cherry-picked from far and wide.

One who was not involved, however, was Jacob Mellis, as it was confirmed that he departed the club by mutual consent after a highly-publicised incident at the beginning of the month.

Mellis, 21, would likely have left the club in the summer after a frustrating season in which he inexplicably wasn’t sent on loan despite a successful spell at Barnsley last season.

With just over a year remaining on his contract and now being of the age whereby Chelsea would have to register him for Premier League involvement, a summer move was on the cards and whilst recent events may have hastened his departure, he was likely to follow Kaby and Philipp Prosenik in leaving slightly ahead of time.

Championship outfit Burnley are believed to be favourites to secure his signature, as the midfielder spent part of last week on trial at the Lancashire club and impressed in a reserve match.

However, whispers suggest he may also be attracting attention from Newcastle and Alan Pardew, who he played under briefly at Southampton. Pardew is believed to have kept tabs on him for some time and may now make a move to bring him in.

The Reserves’ victory follows the first-team’s 5-2 win over Leicester City on Sunday, which in turn came off the back of two wins for the Under-18 team in less than 24 hours.

On Friday night, Adi Viveash led his side to a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford in the FA Youth Cup Semi Final First Leg, and the following morning Under-16 coach Joe Edwards took charge of a much younger Blues side that beat Bristol City 2-0 at Cobham. Goals either side of half time from schoolboys Dion Conroy and Jonathan Muleba capped a fine couple of days for the academy.

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