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Branislav Ivanovic has grown into one of the important numbers at the club

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has grown into one of the important numbers at the club, which seemed unlikely after making a £ 9 million move in 2009.

He rarely featured for the first-team immediately upon his arrival. It was then suggested that he may return back to eastern European football. His breakthrough at the club came under Ancelotti and he has never looked back since. Ivanovic comes on the back of a brilliant campaign with Chelsea and it saw him lift the second Premier League title in his career. After having won the league title for the first time since 2010, Chelsea will be hoping to retain the trophy next season.

Jose Mourinho has said that the biggest challenge will be to retain the players compared to last season when the big challenge was to sign top names like Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa. Now that the club has a strong base of experienced professionals, Ivanovic believes that they can move towards promoting young players from the youth academy into the first-team. Chelsea have been one of the most successful teams in the FA youth cup over the last few years, but it has not translated into any first-team action for the promising players.

"We have a great generation of young players. They improve during training with us and they can be competitive in the team.They can make our squad bigger and in the future really think about them, it's great. It's not just Ruben. We have five or six players who can be in our squad and it is great for the manager to give them a chance to play.I am talking about Dominic Solanke, Izzy Brown, Andreas Christensen, Nathan Ake – the guys who are already with us in training. They are still young, they need to fight,” said Ivanovic.