The Chelsea army of players out on loan has been a topic of much debate over the years. Many opine that such a thing is what is bad about the world of football, where clubs pile up and accumulate players in their ranks, but would never use them in the first-team.
Indeed, there are 37 players out on loan from Chelsea and many of them may not even play a single minute for the Blues’ senior team. But new manager Antonio Conte has shown that there could be a future for the members that are out on a temporary deal. Victor Moses, Nathaniel Chalobah and Nathan Ake are the prime examples that the Italian tactician will consider inducting players into the first-team if he deems them worthy based on their performances.
Moses, before this season, had three spells on loan with Liverpool, Stoke City and then with West Ham United. Many believed he had no future at the Stamford Bridge, but he has emerged as one of their most important players this term.
Chalobah has been to six different clubs on loan in the past – Watford, Nottingham Forest, Middlesbrough, Burnley, Reading and Napoli and Nathan Ake has been to three teams – Reading, Watford and Bournemouth, before becoming a part of Conte’s plans.
With the former Juventus and Italy boss willing to give players on loan a chance in the first team, we take a look at three Chelsea loanees who could break through in the upcoming season:
The 19-year old is the player who has the Chelsea fans excited. On loan at second tier side Bristol City, Abraham has been scoring for fun for his loan club.
Across all competitions, Abraham has netted an amazing 21 goals from 38 appearances and is the second highest goalscorer in the EFL Championship behind only Newcastle United’s Dwight Gayle. The 19-year old has demonstrated great instincts and displayed great knack of being at the right place at the right time for the Robins and has scored an amazing 41% of their goals this season.
Chelsea are scouring the market for a striker to provide backup for Diego Costa, with current option Michy Batshuayi having struggled to break into the first team. And amid reports that he is growing unhappy and might leave Stamford Bridge in the summer, the Blues could provide the enterprising Abraham an opportunity to showcase his talents in the Premier League after having proven himself in the Championship.
The Danish defender has been tipped as the long-term replacement for Chelsea captain and legend John Terry for quite a while now and he could get his chance to prove himself next term.
Christensen has been with German side Borussia Monchengladbach for a second season running now, having moved to the Borussia Park ahead of the 2015-16 season on a temporary two-year deal. The 20-year old has impressed everyone so much that it was reported that Chelsea tried to cut-short his loan spell, while the Germans themselves tried to get him to move permanently.
Not many 20-year olds can claim to possess two years at the top level, along with Champions League experience and the fact that Christensen went onto win the Player of the Year award last season at Gladbach, indicates the kind of impact he has made. And hence it is no surprise why Chelsea are so eager to have him back. With Conte playing a three-man defence, it opens up a space for him in the backline and he could prove to be a huge addition ahead of the next season.
The 21-year old is one of the many Chelsea players on loan at Dutch Eredivisie side Vitesse Arnhem, but has been by far the most impressive loanee.
Highly rated by the Blues, Baker made his debut for the first team three years ago in the FA Cup and was part of the senior squad under Jose Mourinho in 2014, with the Portuguese manager claiming that he would be to blame if Baker didn’t become an England international during his time at the Bridge. Baker first went out on a one-month loan spell with Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in January 2015, before moving to Netherlands at the start of the 2015-16 campaign.
In his year and a half with Vitesse, Baker has 14 goals from 52 appearances. Not bad returns for a midfielder by any standards. It may have been three years now since he made his last appearance for Chelsea, but having impressed heavily away from his parent club, he deserves a shot at the first-team level.