Huddersfield Town v Peterborough: Chelsea youngster Tino Anjorin poised for Terriers bow

With two games spread over a long weekend, Tino Anjorin looks set to become the latest Chelsea academy graduate to play for Huddersfield Town’s first team at some point.

The 20-year-old attacking midfielder or winger broke a metatarsal on loan at Lokomotiv Moscow in November, delaying his first game at the latest club Chelsea have lent him to, the Terriers.

But Anjorin is fit now and if he cannot force his way into a team unbeaten in 17 matches when Huddersfield host Grant McCann’s relegation-threatened Peterborough United this evening, Monday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie at Nottingham Forest offers another chance.

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When he makes his debut, he will be the latest in a long line of Chelsea loanees to wear the blue-and-white stripes. Kasey Palmer and Izzy Brown might not have made it at Stamford Bridge but did David Wagner’s Terriers good service, even if Leon Knight’s spell was less of a success. Trevoh Chalobah is a Blues’ first-teamer after learning the ropes in West Yorkshire in 2019-20.

Chelsea's Tino Anjorin playing in the Champions League back in 2020. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

Centre-back Levi Colwill, who has been on loan all season, will be hoping to keep his place this evening. With Tom Lees back from a cut on his head, it is far from guaranteed but there is no denying the 19-year-old is a special player.

Access to that sort of talent is the prize for winning the trust of the world champions, although they are not alone in trusting Huddersfield to polish their young diamonds.

“In the season before I came we had Chalobah, who is now in Chelsea’s first team, and Smith-Rowe, who is in Arsenal’s first team,” coach Carlos Corberan points out. “They were making a very good contribution and we showed we could help them grow in their careers. My challenge was to keep doing this with every player that arrived at the club.

“I don’t know if we are going to make them better players or not but we try to show a high level of commitment with everyone to give the best they can – that’s not only to give them minutes, but to help the players to grow. Sometimes we achieve it, sometimes we won’t, but we are going to give the highest level of respect, the highest level of determination to help the player grow because that’s why clubs send their players on loan to Huddersfield.

Town head coach Carlos Corberan. Picture Tony Johnson

“But I will only put a player on the pitch if the player deserves to be. We will give the players the best opportunity to show what they can do and hopefully the players show they deserve to play for the club.”

It is not just loanees. It cannot be coincidence that when Jon Russell was released by Chelsea as an 18-year-old, he joined Huddersfield. The midfielder was officially promoted from Huddersfield’s B to first-team squad this week having played in five of the last six matches when until then his only senior outing for them had been in January’s FA Cup third-round tie at Burnley.

“The situation hasn’t changed,” insists Corberan. “I don’t wait for this before he makes his debut in the team.

“I have a group of first-team players plus a group of academy players and everyone can be key for the team. Everyone has the same target.

“When you are in the B team you have to work hard to make the step into the first team but we are a club with many players and many options and the ages don’t matter. The only thing they have to do is show a positive performance that can have an impact in the team.

“Part of my role is to see which young players are ready to help the first team.

“Last season he (Russell) played more than 1,000 minutes in League One (on loan at Accrington Stanley), which is a very competitive division, so it meant he had the experience to play this level of football.

“He spent a long time in Chelsea’s academy so we knew he was a quality player with the experience to develop as a professional at a good level. After he joined the B team we had the idea to develop him to a good level and that hasn’t changed. You have to develop as a competitive player every single day you are at the club.”

For all the talk of development, though, Huddersfield are excelling in the here and now.

Win tonight and they will go second in the Championship, albeit the team they leapfrog, Bournemouth will have five games in hand.

Whilst other teams will inevitably – and in many cases justifiably – moan about the backlog of fixtures, Corberan cannot get enough – not with Pipa also fit again to give him the luxury of a full squad.

“When you have a big number of players in the squad who can help the team, the fact you have a lot of games is a positive,” he says.

“If you are in the Cup it is going to increase the number of games you play but for me the thing is to be ready to compete in these games by having the options to cover all your needs.”

Last six games: Huddersfield Town WWWDDW; Peterborough United LLLLDL

Referee: D Bond (Lancashire)

Last time: Huddersfield 2 Peterborough United 2, April 6, 2013, Championship.