Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has laid down the challenge for the club's youngsters to earn a place in the first team squad this season, insisting that performances and not age or experience is the only thing that matters to him.
With Chelsea banned from registering new players until the summer of 2020, there are positions that need filling to bolster the squad ahead of a long campaign.
Despite a prolific and successful academy in recent years, the club has previously been criticised for failing to promote youngsters to the senior ranks. Yet Lampard has confirmed that he does indeed intend to look to the youth team graduates if they merit an opportunity.
"I think everyone knows I have a keen eye for the academy players the club have produced. And we now have a big batch of them that are fighting to get into the first team. But to be absolutely clear, they now have to make the difference," the Chelsea boss is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
"I don't care about age, I care about performance and how people train and how they play. Now it's up to those young players to show what they can do," he added.
Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Kasey Palmer, Fikayo Tomori and goalkeeper Jamie Cumming are the home grown crop of youngsters in the squad that has travelled to Japan on tour.
After a challenging start to pre-season in the shape of a 1-1 draw with Irish side Bohemians, Chelsea were boosted this week when Christian Pulisic joined the squad for the first time since his January transfer from Borussia Dortmund was agreed.
There has also been positive news regarding N'Golo Kante, who finished last season nursing injury problems. After a delayed return, the French midfield star is expected to join full training.