Chelsea teenager Omari Hutchinson has made a fresh statement to manager Graham Potter as excitement grows around his future at Stamford Bridge. The former Arsenal youth product put in another dazzling display at U21 level this weekend with supporters eager to see him appear for the first team sooner rather than later.
Hutchinson was considered a major coup for Chelsea this summer, having long been one of the highest-rated players in the Gunners’ academy. Set to turn 19 next week, new boss Potter has not yet phased him into the first-team picture but his performances for the U21s suggest that it won’t be long before he is forced to act.
This week, he blitzed Leyton Orient to put the Blues’ youngsters into the EFL Trophy knockout stages with a mesmerising 70-yard run and finish, before notching two assists to complete a late 3-2 comeback win.
Hutchinson’s exploits continued against Blackburn U21s in PL2 this weekend, registering another assist and going on another mazy run to earn a penalty. The once-capped Jamaica international stepped up to the spot and scored, sealing an impressive 3-0 win.
Potter is sure to be taking note of Hutchinson’s imperious performances with some feeling as though a first-team debut is around the corner. According to The Athletic, he is one of the best-paid players in Chelsea’s development squad.
A big name throughout his youth career, Arsenal were naturally keen to keep hold of Hutchinson but they lost the battle this summer due to a murky route into the senior XI. Fellow academy graduates Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe had already crowded out the list of candidates in his favoured positions – out wide or behind the striker.
“Omari has been fantastic,” Chelsea U21 coach Mark Robinson told The Athletic. “When you are a young player and you make that change of club, there is a lot of pressure on you. When he first came in, he probably felt that pressure, the big expectations on him moving from Arsenal and coming across to Chelsea.
“I think, in his early performances, there was that pressure. But as time has gone on, you are seeing him relaxing more and more and he is really starting to show the player he is going to be. I am really pleased with him.”