I’m not sure about you, but as a 17-year-old I played FIFA, stressed over mock trials and was constantly preparing to see the stars of the football world that so many admire through a TV screen.
However, Lewis Hall is not a normal 17-year-old.
On Saturday night, the teenager made his senior debut for Chelsea when the Blues comfortably beat the National League team Chesterfield 5-1 in the FA Cup.
In a surprisingly experienced lineup full of global names, Hall was the latest promising youngster to get a chance under Thomas Tuchel.
We had already seen the likes of Harvey Vale and Jude Soonsup-Bell love Stamford Bridge with exciting performances that signal a prosperous future for the club. And Hall, who started with a plethora of regular first-team players, was the latest talent in youth teams that looked like home in a blue jersey.
Of course a central midfielder, the 17-year-old was given the unenviable task of handling a bit of tricky resistance as a left-back midfielder in a three-man defense. And in his infancy, Hall showed the maturity, quality and commitment that already confirms his potential.
Lewis Hall was brilliant for Chelsea on Saturday / Craig Mercer / MB Media / GettyImages
Undaunted by his defensive responsibilities, the teenager was comfortably determined and sharp against any dangers that got in his way. Whether he’s facing an outsider preparing to deliver a cross, chasing back on the cover to catch one of Chesterfield’s many long balls over the top, or reading the play exceptionally to prevent potential outbursts, Hall looked as complex and competent as they were. much more experienced Andreas Christensen and the increasingly exploited Malang Sarr next to him at the back, even though it was the guests’ obvious goal.
Not only did the 17-year-old constantly regain possession in integrated positions throughout the process, but his calmness on the ball and natural ability to distribute possession overcame all panic he could have felt.
This trait was hugely noticeable all the time. In addition to the surging Mateo Kovacic in the first half and the driving Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the second, Hall was Chelsea’s most progressive player.
From wonderfully good-looking little flicks in his defensive third to drop the ball and cut two or three pressing opponents out of the game to dynamic arrows forward, the 17-year-old was crucial in releasing occasional and not very overwhelming pressure on his part.
His outstanding moment came just before the 20-minute mark. Harrying Chesterfield’s defense on the left wing, Hall showed brilliant stubbornness to regain possession in the final third before giving Romelu Lukaku the perfect cut to sweep in the hosts’ third goal of the evening.
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Lukaku is back in the goals for @ChelseaFC? #EmiratesFACup pic.twitter.com/W4jIsU169g
– Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 8, 2022
While that glimmer of tangible quality will be the overarching memory of a fantastic debut, Hall’s overall maturity, adaptability and all-encompassing influence have announced that the 17-year-old is yet another exciting future in Chelsea’s books.
An interesting footnote to the Blues’ enjoyable victory in the third round was Lewis Baker’s cameo in the second half. The 26-year-old came in as a replacement for his second Chelsea appearance eight years after his first, but with Tuchel bleeding through youth to relieve the pressure from an abominably packed football schedule, the future looks blues for the Blues’ youth. brighter.
Part of that future will surely be Hall which, at 17, already looks like a real deal.
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