Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink has admitted that he now has a better understanding of the current squad at his disposal, mainly the younger players. The Dutch manager is confident that 'one or two' of the youth team players could play themselves into contention for a place in the senior squad before the end of the current campaign.
The west London club's fortunes have begun to change following the former PSV Eindhoven manager's arrival and they are currently unbeaten in January having won two and drawn as many in all competitions since the beginning of the year. Hiddink has also put faith in the younger players, namely Kenedy and Ruben Loftus-Cheek and has given them an opportunity to claim a place in the first-team.
According to the Daily Mail, the manager has already begun identifying young players to make the step-up to the senior squad with Charly Musonda the latest to join first-team training. The forward impressed during Chelsea U21's 5-0 demolition of the QPR reserve side and the report claims that the young striker could be included in the squad for their clash against Arsenal on Sunday (24 January).
The youngster was set to be sent out on loan due to lack of first-team chances, but his display against the QPR U21's is said to have changed the mind of the manager, who was watching the game from the sidelines. He will join the first-team training sessions in a bid to get a chance to feature in the senior squad this season.
The former Netherlands national team manager, who admitted that he prefers promoting youth to buying players in January, is willing to hand more chances to the academy players, but made it clear that they have to prove their credentials to get a promotion to the senior setup.
"My first focus was on getting together as soon as possible with the experienced players and the younger players to get the team rolling. But after being here for a few weeks now I have a better view, a better analysis of young players as well, after seeing them in training," Hiddink said, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.
"We recently played a game with the Academy boys and you see their possibilities when you play games. We are trying to help. It is not easy to survive in the league but when we have the possibilities, if one is knocking on the door, maybe – but I don't give any guarantees – we can see one or two players playing by May," the Dutchman added.