Chelsea youngster Alfie Gilchrist signs a contract extension until 2026

Chelsea youngster Alfie Gilchrist signs a contract extension until 2026

Alfie Gilchrist will stay at Stamford Bridge a year longer after signing an extension with Chelsea, the club announced on their official website. Previously, The Blues will only keep him until the summer of 2025 but the newly signed deal allows the 20-year-old to stay until 2026.

Gilchrist has been with Chelsea since the age group, including captaining the U15 squad. This season, he already played 12 matches for the first team after being handed a debut in a game against Crystal Palace back in December. 

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Means so much to my family

The London-born admitted that this was not the final end of his career. The contract extension boosted his spirit and pushed him to improve even better than it was. As a London native, the fact that he plays for Chelsea means something to his family. 

“Signing this contract at Chelsea is a massive achievement for me and my family,” said Gilchrist through the club’s official release. ‘”It was a no-brainer and every time I’ve signed a contract here it has felt nicer and nicer. But now I want to keep on pushing on and keep improving.

“As I was growing up Chelsea meant a lot to me and my family, it was a big part of our lives coming to Stamford Bridge as a young supporter. Every time I used to go there I used to love it so much, it used to motivate me to want to be on the pitch one day.”

Chelsea’s co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley said: “We are delighted to give Alfie this new contract at Chelsea. It has been a pleasure to see him continue his development within the club by breaking into the first-team squad this season. We are looking forward to seeing him progress further in the years to come.”

Alfie Gilchrist shared his tough road to being in Chelsea’s first-team

Gilchrist then recalled when he grew up fighting for his place in the academy, admitting that the road was tough for him to finally reach this stage of life. 

“There’s been setbacks in the academy, physically when I was younger I wasn’t always the biggest. Sometimes I’d make a mistake but these are things you just have to brush aside and work on and my determination and hunger to succeed helped me.

“I captained from the [Under] 15s. As the age groups went on I feel like I developed my leadership skills further. 21s that’s when I became permanent captain really.”

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino praised Gilchrist’s determination and mentality despite coming to the first squad as a youngster. 

“He was really good because the most difficult thing was to manage the stress, because he knew he wasn’t going to play, and then he needed to play. Sometimes with the young guys you give the starting 11 and they know one day before, with too much time and they can’t sleep or the stress can affect them.”

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