Mason Burstow made his first appearance for the Chelsea U23 side in the final game of their Premier League 2 campaign on Sunday.
The Blues avoided relegation with a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur, with Burstow completing the match as a lone striker.
Former team-mate at Charlton Athletic, Nile John started the game for Spurs as Burstow pulled on the blue jersey for the first time in a competitive capacity.
It will be interesting to see where the 18-year-old’s short term future lies looking ahead to 2022/23, after sharing the pitch with first team players Malang Sarr and Trevoh Chalobah on his U23s debut.
Burstow took to Instagram to express his emotions after the game.
He wrote: “What a start!!”
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It was a difficult second half to the season for Burstow, back on loan with the Addicks after his transfer was completed on deadline day.
The 18-year-old did not find the net again for the South Londoners, struggling to capitalise on the promise he showed in the first half of the campaign.
Therefore, it was even more important that the livewire forward got a run-out for the U23 side before the season reached its conclusion on Sunday.
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To play a full season as the Blues U23’s first choice striker could have its benefits next season.
At 18, there is plenty of time for Burstow to make a successful step up to senior football, and staying at the club to play for the U23 side next term would give him a chance of forcing his way into the first team reckoning, potentially in cup competitions.
It is too early to be projecting any kind of future potential for Burstow, having only started eight league games for the Addicks in 2021/22, and the 18-year-old will be hoping that the improved level of coaching and organisation at Chelsea will be best for his development in the coming years.