Who is Leo Castledine? The 'highly-rated' Chelsea teenager in Carabao Cup squad vs Blackburn


Mauricio Pochettino has handed a first Chelsea matchday squad appearance to teenage star Leo Castledine for the Carabao Cup clash with Blackburn. The Blues have made numerous signings for the future since the arrival of Todd Boehly, mostly scouting talent from South America, but that is not the case for Castledine.

The west Londoners brought Castledine into their academy in the Under-15s age group from AFC Wimbledon. On Chelsea's website he is described as an 'attacking midfield player who has the ability to play box-to-box.'football.london understands he is highly-rated within Cobham and that has perhaps been echoed by his inclusion in the matchday squad to face Chelsea.

In recent weeks he has also been included in Chelsea first-team training, after being in and out of sessions last season, most recently being captured in a duel with Enzo Fernandez ahead of the Blackburn game. Castledine has enjoyed an impressive last few years, having represented England at every age group from Under-15s to Under-18s.

At club level, during the 2021/22 season, he played for the Blues in the UEFA Youth League before then being made captain of the Under-18 team. Castledine has already experienced being in the public eye with his father, Stewart Castledine, also a professional footballer who played for Wimbledon and Wycombe across an 11-year career.

Meanwhile his mother is TV presenter Lucy Alexander, most commonly known for her 13-year stint presenting BBC's Homes Under the Hammer. Late last year, Castledine featured in two EFL Trophy games for Chelsea against Peterborough and Cheltenham Town alongside the likes of Cesare Casadei and Omari Hutchinson.

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In this season's Premier League 2, the creative midfielder, who can also surprisingly play at centre-back, has already scored two goals and grabbed six assists from seven appearances, according to Transfermarkt. Chelsea currently sit in tenth after a mixed start with the young Blues nearly ending Tottenham's 100% winning streak in October.

Castledine has played 90 minutes in all but one of his nine appearances this season with his form at the junior level seemingly being rewarded with the hope he can make his first-team debut against Blackburn.

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