18 year-old Tino Anjorin has featured heavily in Chelsea’s U23 and U18 teams over the last few seasons. And last season he even made his Premier League debut as a substitute against Everton. This season though, Anjorin is proving to be a standout amongst Chelsea’s youth ranks.
In his single start in the U21 EFL Trophy – the 4-3 loss to Bristol Rovers – Anjorin scored twice.
And so far in the PL2, the attacking midfielder has one goal in three appearances.
Road to the first team
Anjorin has two appearances for Chelsea’s first team. One in the Premier League, and the other came against Grimsby Town in the Carabao Cup. Both of these appearances were as late subs, with very little time to influence the match. Against Grimsby, they were already 4-1 up when he came on.
With Anjorin turning 18 on November 23, his time in the U18s will be over. What follows is the U23 PL2 squad. Currently holding the attacking midfielder’s role in Chelsea’s PL2 team in Ivorian-born, Austrian number 10, Thierno Ballo. Ballo joined Chelsea from Viktoria Koln in 2018. There is also Marcel Lewis who can play the position.
This may force Anjorin into more of a central midfield position, than the out and out attacking role he made his own in the U18s. His strength does lay in his shooting, though he is capable from range too. As a strong dribbler and tidy passer, a move to a deeper position may prove the way forward for Anjorin.
Where He Fits
The true creative midfielder is a position that Chelsea haven’t been able to get right for a few seasons. Though Hakim Ziyech seems to be the answer to that particular problem. Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic have all rotated through the attacking midfield and wing roles as well.
Defensive midfield is sorted too. N’Golo Kanté and Jorginho hold the roles currently, with Billy Gilmour coming through next.
The role in between though, really only has Mateo Kovačić. Kovačić is a really handy dribbler, though does lack some of the shooting ability that Anjorin would offer.
Anjorin’s current contract expires in 2024, by which time he will be 22. This gives him plenty of time to showcase his skills and improve in PL2 and Chelsea plenty of time to see if he is both good enough and the right fit for the first team by then. And at this early stage, it looks as though he is good enough.