End Of Season Loan Report: Part 1
In this next end of season report it is time to focus on the Chelsea players who have not been playing under the Chelsea badge this seaso...
In this next end of season report it is time to focus on the Chelsea players who have not been playing under the Chelsea badge this season. These are the players who have been deemed not quite ready for the senior side but evidently too good to be playing in the U21's side. Here I will be covering not only their stats for the season but also how they have progressed or not as the case may be and what I feel the future may hold for them now.
Starting off with probably the most controversial of all the loaned players this season. Courtois has been spending his third season on loan with Atletico Madrid and it is without doubt his most successful both in terms of his progress and the success he has had with the club. Courtois has started all but 3 of Atletico's games this season making a total of 58 starts and not making a single substitute appearance. He has kept this season a very impressive 29 clean sheets out those 58 games which makes it a 50% record which by any standards is very impressive. He has only conceded a total of 42 goals in total which not only shows his ability but the strength of this Atletico side this season.
So without doubt it has been a hugely successful loan spell for Courtois but what happens next. Well I do not need to tell anyone reading this that the situation with Courtois is of much debate. What cannot be denied is that Courtois is now one of if not THE top goalkeeper in the world right now and what we cannot afford to do is allow him to slip through our fingers as players like this are very hard to come by. From a personal point of view and as someone who used to be a goalkeeper for many years I think it is time to bring Courtois back and make him our number 1, Cech is still outstanding but for me Courtois is already better than him.
Just a quick note on another keeper we had out on loan. Walker started the first half of the season with Colchester on loan and in the January transfer window made that loan move a permanent one and is no longer a Chelsea player. Sam is a decent keeper and will no doubt eventually find himself in a higher league than Colchester's current league 1. But all the best to Sam for the future and he is one that had to move on to better himself and hopefully he does just that.
George is one of the players that really opens up the loan debate, at 20 years of age he is perfectly eligible for U21's league so was he better out on loan? Firstly lets cover his season. He spent the entire season on loan at league 1 Brentford and helped them to win promotion to the Championship. Out of the 52 games that Brentford played this season Saville started 37 of them and coming on a substitute in another 7. From his deep midfield role he managed to score a respectable 4 goals and picked up a total of 10 yellow cards. He was a big part of the team and I am sure that Brentford are very glad to have had Saville with them this season.
George has done what was asked of him. He has gone on loan and established himself a key member of the team he was at. What will happen for George now? The ideal scenario now will be for him to return to Brentford next season and keep his place in the team as a Championship team and help them to establish themselves as a Championship club, hopefully that is what all parties will want and the Championship is certainly where George needs to be next season. So was George better out on loan? Game time he got similar games at minutes as what Swift and Baker did in the U21's but you would think the competitive nature of the League campaign that George played in will serve him better than what he would have got staying at Chelsea and that is where the U21's cannot measure up to a loan, obviously the loan has to be a success like Saville's was.
For Todd Kane it has been an unusual season. Having established himself as a first team regular at Blackburn last season it was ideal for him to return and keep his place and progress his ability to become a more integral part of that team. Unfortunately things did not quite go as planned. Out of the 49 games that Blackburn Rovers played this season Todd only started 24 of those which is only half of the games and only made an an additional 4 appearances as a substitute. He scored 2 goals this season and picked up 6 yellow cards. Todd featured as a started all the way until December when he lost his place and was not able to reclaim it with only a few appearances here and there without a regular run in the team.
So from December onward this loan move was not how Chelsea or Todd would have wanted it, with Blackburn having a much better season and pushing for a play off place Todd really needed to keep his place in that team and he was unable to. A return to Blackburn would seem unlikely now and he needs to find a new club to try and get into in the Championship to progress himself. That is unless Chelsea feel he has hit his level where it may be time to allow him to move on and settle at a club for good. At only 20 however it may be a season too soon for that call.
Having struggled last season to make an impact at Chelsea it was deemed right to allow him to go elsewhere and try to regain his form which had seem him earn high praise for a number of years. He ended up moving to La Liga and joining Seville where he would become a popular player for the Spanish side but ultimately once again injuries would cost him. In the 59 games that Seville played including a Europa league run that would see them lift the cup Marin only made a total of 14 starts and making 15 substitute appearances. In those game he only scored the 2 goals. His appearances for very patchy and for a period between the end of October and the beginning of January he was completely absent from the squad.
For Marin it has not quite been what Chelsea would have wanted and ultimately will have sealed his fate. Chelsea will now look to make some money back on him and allow him to move on and start fresh as he will not be up to scratch for Chelsea and there is very little point in keeping him around when the players in our squad a on a higher level and other on loan in his position look more likely to make an impact.
Having made a good impression last season Bamford was allowed to return to MK Dons and carry on that form and take it from there. That is exactly what he did, he went to MK Dons and started all the game he was there for except the first where he came on as a sub. At MK Dons he made a total of 29 starts with that one substitute appearance scoring 17 goals. In January a decision had to made, let him stay at MK Dons or move him up a level and it was clear to all that he needed to move up a level and a club in the Championship needed to be found. Eventually that happened and he earned himself a move to Derby County. Things would be different now, no longer could he expect to be an automatic starter and he had to earn his right to play at this higher level. But immediately he did just that, in only his second appearance as a substitute he scored his first goal and then he got another in his second, that earned him a start in which he would score in his next 2 games and score 4 in 4 appearances. It was just what he needed, Patrick would then appear in every game for the rest of the season either as a sub or a starter making 14 starts and 9 appearances off the bench and scoring 8 goals which in total for the season is 25 goals in 53 appearances which is almost 1 in 2, a very impressive record.
So what next for Bamford? Had Derby made the Premier League Chelsea would have been very tempted to leave him there and see what he can do in the Premier League. On the other hand he has only had half a season in the Championship and did not start every game so another Champion loan could be on the cards. However the boy is a natural goal scorer and there has been talk that Jose has been watching him very closely and may indeed want him back at Chelsea next season. That would be a very bold move for the boy but I am sure he could cope. There are 3 options for Chelsea to weigh up, firstly back at Chelsea. Secondly a loan in the Premier League if one could be found or to stay in the Championship. In all honestly i could not say which I think more likely so we will wait and see but I am sure whatever it is he will impress.
Patrick Van Aanholt:
After some loan moves in England which did not work as wanted Van Aanholt has spent the last 2 season at Dutch team Vitesse, Chelsea's second team. Patrick has this season had another very solid season where he has been a first team regular and put in some very impressive performances. Out of the 40 games this Vitesse played this season he has started 33 of those without making a substitute appearance. He has scored 4 goals and picked up 3 yellow cards and 1 red card. For Patrick it is just what he would have wanted he has established himself as an important player and ultimately earned a place in the Dutch preliminary world cup squad.
At 23 years of age and with plenty of time out on loan you feel it is decision time now on Van Aanholt. Do Chelsea retain his services and bring him back to Chelsea to compete for a left back spot or do they sell him and let him move on because in all honesty it would not benefit the player to loan him another year. There are stories that he will come back and he will certainly come back for Pre Season to allow Jose to run the rule over him but with Bertrand also still at the club you feel there is only room for one. Who will be kept, will both be allowed to go? I am not sure but Patrick has done all he can out on loan now and now Chelsea need to decide on him.
It has been a real see-saw season for the Brazilian youngster. Last season he went on loan to Malaga and did OK and now he needed to step up. Initially it was mooted that Vitesse may not be a high enough level for Piazon but he went there and initially he was very very impressive, playing well every game and scoring goals and earning huge plaudits in the Dutch press for his performances. However after the winter break things went very different for him and his appearances dropped off massively. With stories of a fall out with the manager it seems that his progress has been hampered either by his own doing or by others. Again out of 36 appearances since he turned up he has made 25 starts and 5 appearances off the bench scoring 11 goals and all of them coming before the winter break in 18 appearances.
Chelsea will know what happened at Vitesse and will evaluate that in his assessment as he had a storming first half of the season. Undoubtedly Piazon will get another loan move but where is another question. I am sure that ideally the Premier League will be where Chelsea would like to place him but will a club take a go on him? I don't think he is quite ready to make a step into our first team and he needs to continue to get competitive games and improve his level so I am sure that is what he will do.
Christian Atsu only signed for Chelsea at the start of this season from Porto and it was decided to loan him out and he would join the number of Chelsea players at Vitesse. Atsu was given the time to settle into his new club and did not feature for Vitesse until October which was an appearance off the bench but his impact was such that after than he started every single game for the Dutch club. In the end he made a total of 28 starts from either an attacking midfield position or a striker. He scored 5 goals in total but he had a much bigger contribution in assists and general play for the team.
Atsu is an interesting one, at 22 years of age he is at a point where he needs to kick on and there is a genuine chance for him to make a step into the Chelsea first team and having had a big impact in Vitesse winning their player of the year award he will feel he has done what was required. He is a strong and direct player and may be the type of player who can come into the team and earn himself a place. As always it is so hard to guess the next step for these players but Atsu is in the higher group of players who have a chance at the first team next season for sure.
Having been involved with Chelsea for some time and featuring for Chelsea in Pre Season and impressing it was finally confirmed in the January transfer window that he had signed for Chelsea and the first thing he would do officially as a Chelsea player is to join our friends in Holland. Having played very little football in competitive games and certainly at a senior level it was a big step for the 18 year old and the priority would be for him to settle into the routine and action of first team football. If that indeed was the goal then he did just that eventually making 7 starts and 8 more from the bench scoring 3 goals and putting in some impressive performances.
For Traore I am sure he will be involved in pre season once again with Chelsea but more than likely will find himself out on loan again next season and quite probably back at Vitesse this time making more of an impact and starting every game. There is of course an outside chance Jose may fancy him for the first team next season but personally I find that extremely unlikely.
Coming soon will be part 2 of this loan report covering more of young players out on loan including Romelu Lukaku, the younger Hazard and Nathaniel Chalobah. How have they done this season? Find out in part 2.