End Of Season Loan Report: Part 3
In this third and final loan report I will round up the final players yet to have been covered ...
In this third and final loan report I will round up the final players yet to have been covered that were loaned out by Chelsea in the 2013/14 season and try and asses what is next for them:
As has been the case for plenty of years now the topic of Josh McEachran has been a very hot one. Things had not been going very well for the 21 year old and as yet he has struggled to settle into any loan move fully although last seasons Middlesbrough was OK. This season he started where Nathaniel Chalobah left off last season, at Watford. But things were not to change for Josh, he never really got going the way he wanted to, he had a period in the middle of loan in October and November where he got regular starts but either side of that he struggled to feature hardly at all. In total at Watford for the first half of the season that here was there he made 6 starts and 2 more appearances off the bench without scoring a goal. It was pretty clear early on that he would be moving somewhere else in January but would he be able to do better at the next club?
In the choice of club was a step up from Watford when Wigan came in for his services. Unfortunately things were not much improved from the first half of the season, he only managed to appear in back to back games for Wigan once. At Wigan in total he started a total of 7 games and came off the bench 3 times from a total of possible 25 games while he was there, again without scoring a goal. So what next for Josh? It is a difficult one, questions have been asked over his mentality with people suggesting his focus is elsewhere rather than his football. With 4 clubs now under his belt on loan and only 1 where he spent a full season he next season absolutely has to settle at a club and work extremely hard, if he doesn't then he will almost certainly move on and that could even happen this summer. For a player with so much potential it is disappointing to see where he is at the moment.
Another high profile name form the Chelsea academy that has been much talked about over the seasons and more so with the case that he and Chelsea had to deal with over his signing. At 22 years of age and turning 23 before the end of this month Gael has had 5 loan clubs now and only last season at Vitesse could be classed as anything close to a success. That is why probably that he started this season back at Vitesse, however it was not the same, with Piazon and Atsu as direct competitors for his position as well as Vitesse's own players he found himself with very little game time. Up until the end of December when he left he only made 2 starts but did come off the bench a total of 12 times and scoring 3 goals.
With that loan move done with and with conversations about trying to find Gael somewhere that he can move to full time a loan to Lazio was found with an option to buy. But this loan move turned out to the biggest disaster and he did not make a single start and only came off the bench twice playing for a total of 26 minutes. I don't think there is much doubt that Gael Kakuta will not be a Chelsea player in any form come the start of the season as there is no chance of him moving forward now to a level close to Chelsea level so it will be goodbye to Kakuta at some point this summer. Since my time following Chelsea's academy Kakuta is without doubt for one reason or another the biggest waste of talent i have seen.
Having already once retired from football due to injury and returned his career is one that has just been trying to play games whenever possible. Eyebrows were raised and for good reason when Sam Hutchinson turned up at Vitesse at the start of the summer. Was it a coaching role? Was it a playing role? It turned out it was a playing role but in the end not one with much playing time. He stayed until the end of December and only started one game in a early round cup game and came on for a minute against Ajax. With that move done with what would happen to Sam next with the always possible threat of his injuries stopping his career again.
However Sam eventually turned up at Sheffield Wednesday and in the end managed to play a decent number of game for someone in his condition. He made 8 starts with a further 2 from the bench. He managed to score 1 goal but also pick up 2 red cards. Sam is currently out of contract with Chelsea and the stories at the moment are saying that he will join Sheffield Wednesday on a permanent basis. Wherever he ends up it will be nice to see him playing football because he was a very good player who had a promising career cut short by injury.
There was another player at Vitesse this season and another after Hutchinson and Kakuta that did not get the games. The 19 year old left back officially signed for Chelsea in the summer and Chelsea immediately loaned him to their Dutch partners, either thinking he was able to play regularly for then or to put him in an environment they have some control over to let him settle into life in Europe. Whichever it was Cuevas did not feature at all for Vitesse only making some appearances for their reserve side.
In the second half of the season Chelsea decided to give him playing time. Leaving him in the Netherlands he was moved to Dutch second division side FC Eindhoven and there he did get the game time. After coming on as sub in his first game he then went on to start every single game for them. In the end he made 14 starts and scored one goal. Next for Cuevas is difficult to decide, will he be another Davilla who is unable to step up to the required level or can he play at that much needed higher level. Having seen little of his playing time I cannot say what level he has but next seasons loan will surely find that out, wherever that may be.
Champions League winner Ryan Bertrand has spent the second half of the season on loan at Aston Villa having found himself behind not only Ashley Cole but also Azpilicueta who excellent this season when given a chance in that position. As expected Ryan started every single game Aston Villa whilst there making a total of 16 starts. It was good experience for him and certainly shows he is perfectly capable at a Premier League level.
Chances are a new first choice left back will be coming to Chelsea this summer which means that Bertrand needs to be content with a secondary role and that is probably a fair level at Chelsea. However there will be a fight for that spot with Patrick Van Aanholt also likely to want a fair go. At 24 years old Bretrand certainly needs to decide what he wants, stay at a big club like Chelsea and take his chances where he can get them or to move to a lower club and play more regular.
Following a good season on loan at ADO Den Haag there was hopes of a another good season and a chance to impress returning manager Jose Mourinho. However a shoulder injury kept him on the sidelines for the majority of the first half of this season. Upon return he made a single appearance for the U21's side before eventually going to spend the second half of the season on loan in the Championship. Middlesbrough was where he ended up alongside colleague Nathaniel Chalobah. After taking some time to settle in and for the manager to get used to him Kenneth become a regular feature for Boro'. In the end he made 14 starts and never came on as a sub, he also managed to pick up a red card along the way.
Cahmpionship football is probably a level too low for Omeruo and with a World Cup campaign on the horizon with Nigeria he will feel ready to step up. At Chelsea there is competition with young centre backs, Tomas Kalas and new signing Kurt Zouma are the main rivals for what is essentially the 4th choice centre back spot and at 20 years of age time is still on his side. If a Premier League loan could be found then the club and player would feel that ideal for his development or even a top European team.
Chelsea's new signing is a big imposing defender who likes to get stuck in. He joined in January from St Etienne and immediately was returned there to finish out the rest of the season on loan. It has been said that Jose wants to bring him forward like he did at Madrid with Varane and we will see if that is indeed what Jose plans or if the more ideal situation is a loan. Since the loan move St Etienne have not used him as much as they did before and in the second half of the season he made a total of 7 starts and 5 from the bench.
At 19 years of age he has a lot of developing still to do and we know that Chelsea are more than willing to sign players and let them develop elsewhere and that may be again what we see with Zouma. It will depend on what level that he can get his loan at. A lot of young players are going to get the chance to impress the manage in pre season and that could determine what the future is for Zouma.
Following a good loan last season to Colchester United there was hopes for Billy Clifford to realise his potential. Having played in a number of positions over his career he has never really settled down into a position although his best position is probably in midfield. He started this season on loan at Yeovil and did not make a single appearance for the club before returning to Chelsea very early on. From there he made a number of appearances for the U21's side, 5 appearances in total and weight in with 5 assists in that time.
It was assumed that in January he would get another loan and start again but January dragged on and a loan move did not materialise. Then right at the end of the January window he got his move but it was certainly an unexpected one as he ended up in the Belgian second division with Royal Antwerp and as manager former blue Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. In that time Antwerp only played 10 games but Billy only started one of those and came off the bench for a further 3 games. Things really have not gone well for Billy in truth and i find it hard to see anything other than him moving elsewhere this summer for good.
Not officially a Chelsea player until the 1st July but as his move to Chelsea was confirmed in January I have included him in with the loan players. The 19 year old Croatian midfielder certainly has plenty of talent which was evident when called up for Croatia's initial 30 man squad for the World Cup. He will be laving his current club Hajduk Split this summer and whilst he was there as a "sort of" Chelsea player he started a total of 13 games and scored 5 goals in that time.
Pasalic is just the type of player we have been picking up lately, a talented youngster and then move him to clubs in Europe to see him develop and it would be no surprise to see him turn up in Arnhem next season as he certainly seems capable of that level. He definately will not be part of any Chelsea team next season so it is a matter of where he goes and what level he plays at. A player to keep an eye on for sure.
So there we have it, in 3 parts I have covered all of the Chelsea players that have been out on loan this season. It terms of development there have been a good number of players this season who have pushed on as we would like and ready to take the next level and those are the ones that this whole process is for, now we wait to see what their next level can be. Expect the numbers to be just as high next season and of course I will fully cover all of the moves as they happen right here.