Loan Report: October Update
We are now 2 months into the season and even though things are not going so well for the senior side at the moment there have been 34 pla...
We are now 2 months into the season and even though things are not going so well for the senior side at the moment there have been 34 players who are on Chelsea's books who have been plying their trade at other clubs throughout Europe and it is time to catch with the goings on with these players.
One of those players out on loan Mohammed Salah is now no longer a loan player at all after Roma exercised their option to take Salah on a permanent deal. Even though he was not able to have the impact he would have wanted at Chelsea his loan spells have been very fruitful and he has kept a reputation for being a quick and skillful player.
At this early stage there is lots that can happen, players who may not have played so much for their loan clubs to date could very quickly work their way into the team and stay there and players who are getting regular games now may fall out of favour and not play again. I will not cover every single loan player in this report but I will cover the successes so far and the failures so far.
We have a number of players at our Dutch partners Vitesse this season and one of those players is Lewis Baker. Baker is a fine player with a lot of ability and with the right development could turn into a very nice player for us. So far at Vitesse he has played in all 11 games starting 10 of them and playing the full 90 most of the time. He has scored 2 goals also and whilst it would be fair to say that he is still settling in and learning it is a good start. With this level of game time continuing for him this season could be a big one for Baker's development.
Andreas Christensen decided to take a loan move this season to the Bundesliga with Gladbach. Loans to the Bundesliga in the past have not always worked out for our young players but things are looking good for Christensen. He had a spell of 4 games as a sub for Gladbach after the first 2 games but since then he has played every single game for the German side including their Champions League tie against Manchester City. So far so good and if this continues Christensen could also be having a big season.
Tomas Kalas has a difficult few seasons with loans not working, a spell in the senior side with very little game time and a lack of game time in general. This season he is at Middlesbrough and is so far doing very well. Finally getting the minutes he needs in a team that is performing well, given that Boro' are pushing for a promotion place it will be very good experience for him this season, it was important for him to get the game time this season and so far he is getting that.
Domonic Solanke is a player that has only just turned 18, it is unusual to see a player be loaned out so young particularly one from our academy. But this shows the level the club see Solanke at already. Vitesse was a big challenge for the young man but with Vitesse short of strikers is was a big opportunity to get some first team game time at a top level. He has taken a while to settle in but he has now started the last 4 games and it looks like he will be their main striker going forward which is brilliant for him and he has shown flashes of what he can do and there will be more to come. With 2 goals to his name so far I am looking forward to seeing what total he can finish on.
One that has been something of a surprise is Todd Kane, after a few quiet seasons on loan he has this season also gone to Holland NEC Nijmegen. It was a move that was something of a shock but it has worked out brilliantly for him playing every game for them so far. It was a move that Kane desperately needed and hopefully he can keep the form up.
Christian Atsu had a good spell at Vitesse a couple of seasons ago but he has really struggled since then, a bad spell at Everton last season was supposed to be fixed with a loan to Bournemouth. It has not worked for him again so far, injuries and a lack of game time has meant that so far this move has the looks of last season all over again for Atsu. Things may turn around but only time will tell.
One of the biggest problem the loan army have this season so far is Patrick Bamford. Bamford has been on an upward trajectory for a long while now and this was the season where the Premier League beckoned and where Bamford would show he is Premier League quality. Palace was the choice of club and if reports are correct Bamford wanted to go to Palace himself rather than Chelsea deciding. So far it looks a poor choice, Palace are in a very good run of form and are finding that they do not need the services of Bamford. A total of 4 appearances and 120 minutes is all Bamford has to show so far this season and this is one that doesn't look like changing anytime soon.
When Nathaniel Chalobah moved to Napoli on loan at the time it looked like a highly ambitious loan move. Whilst experience of playing in different country would be great if he doesn't get the game time then he is going to learn very little. So Napoli are playing very well and have not used Chalobah yet baring a 5 minute appearance in the 7 games that he has been there for, Again like Bamford I cannot see this changing for Chalobah anytime soon.
There are plenty of other players who are doing well and others doing not so well. A few notable mentions are for Nathan Ake who looks like he is slowly working his way into the Watford side. Mario Pasalic has settled in well at Monaco and looks to be enjoying a fruitful spell so far. Lucas Piazon is slowly getting used to life at Reading and started to have an impact with Steve Clarke. Jordan Houghton has settled in nicely at Gillingham and playing plenty of games which is good to see for a first loan move and finally Nathan is slowly getting used to life at Vitesse and getting enough game time to be improving all the time.
As always with loan moves and especially with so many you get a mixed bag and this season is no exception. However when 2 of your biggest hopes in Bamford and Chalobah are struggling at this stage in their development then that is not nice to see. However the situation for Solanke and Baker look very promising. Lots to keep and eye on and there is a awfully long way to go in the season but this season is a interesting one for loans so keep an eye out for more updates as we go along.