LATEST NEWS : 20-year-old’s Chelsea milestone may be cause for QPR frustration

Alfie Gilchrist’s first goal for Chelsea on Monday night may have QPR fans wondering what could’ve happened to their former academy product.
Alfie Gilchrist, another product of Chelsea’s Cobham academy, has emerged as a standout.

However, after scoring his first goal for the Blues in a 6-0 victory over Everton last night, QPR fans may be a little disappointed about what could have been if they had maintained hold of a lad who was once theirs.

Alfie Gilchrist is Chelsea’s latest emerging star, but he started off at QPR.

Gilchrist was born in 2003 in Kingston-upon-Thames, London. He began his football career with local club Old Isleworthians Youth FC before briefly joining QPR’s academy.

He only played in the Hoops’ youth setup for two years, entering at nine years old and departing for boyhood club Chelsea at eleven.

Alfie Gilchrist reveals he ignored tactical instructions from Pochettino

In a 2023 interview with the Premier League club, Gilchrist briefly discussed his time at QPR, saying: “I was here [Chelsea] at Under-9’s for a while, chose a different path at QPR, but was still going to Chelsea games with my dad.

“When I was at QPR, we played against Chelsea and I had a good game. I knew one of the scouts and he watched that game. He knew my parents from previous times, and they spoke after the game. I wanted to be back here as well. When they gave me the opportunity, it was amazing.”

QPR fans must only be pained by this as – with the power of hindsight – they would have had a prospectful centre-half, who shares comparisons with John Terry, in the youth ranks and potentially in the first-team.

Looking at his impressive winning of awards and trophies while in the Cobham setup must surely make Hoops fans green with envy too.

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In the 2020/21 season, with 18 academy appearances, including one in the FA Youth Cup, and for the development squad, Gilchrist was picked as Chelsea’s 2021 Scholar of the Year.

The following season, 2021/22, Gilchrist was a key member of both the Under-18s and the development squad, captaining the FA Youth Cup semi-finalists as well as the Under-18 Premier League Cup winners.

Gilchrist’s milestone moment arrives for Chelsea vs Everton.
As stated at the beginning of the post, Gilchrist confirmed his quick journey to first-team prominence at Chelsea by scoring his first goal for the club this week.

As a late substitute for Malo Gusto, the defender came on at right-back and scored Chelsea’s sixth and final goal in a win over Everton.

Alfie Gilchrist's Chelsea milestone may be cause for QPR frustration: View

He instantly found himself open at the back post and volleyed home his first Chelsea goal after Jordan Pickford saved a Ben Chilwell shot-cum-cross.
He is now the seventh long-term Chelsea academy product to make the 2023/24 team, following in the footsteps of more senior achievements from Cobham, Reece James and Conor Gallagher.
Could Alfie Gilchrist join one of the current Championship clubs next season?
If Queens Park Rangers were to reconcile with their former youngster this summer, the first step would be to improve their current position, which is 19th and three points above the relegation zone.

However, with the R’s looking like a relegation candidate and Chelsea likely to loan out their academy starlet, despite his recent milestone establishing him as a solid Premier League player, there are current – and much better placed – Championship clubs that could look to sign the 20-year-old.

Ipswich Town is the most probable club to make a move for the teenage defender.

The Tractor Boys have already helped Omari Hutchinson blossom this season, and with a link between the two clubs growing thanks to Kieran McKenna’s management of such a young and talented squad, there is a good chance a loan move is in the works, even if they are promoted to the Premier League.

Furthermore, with the Suffolk side sitting atop the Championship tree, it may be difficult to argue against a move there, leaving even more questions about what could have been if Gilchrist had not piqued the interest of Chelsea scouts all those years ago at QPR.

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