3 Chelsea loanees who could get chances with the club's transfer ban
Maurizio Sarri was appointed as Chelsea's new manager at the beginning of the season and despite early promise, the campaign hasn't gone too smoothly with a run of inconsistent results, surprising defeats and scrutiny placed at the Italian's doorstep along the way.
However, they are very much in contention to finish in the top four this term, whilst also finding themselves in the Europa League semi-finals. Winning that competition would provide them with a spot in next season's Champions League, regardless of whether they finish in the top four.
In February, FIFA banned the Blues from signing any players in the next two transfer windows. They stated the club had breached rules and regulations specific to 29 minor [under-18] players, as well as committing "several other infringements" which related to registration requirements for players.
Chelsea could have a major issue to address in the coming months, as talisman Eden Hazard might be angling for a lucrative switch to Real Madrid. With his existing deal set to expire next summer, they might be forced into selling their best player.
Callum Hudson-Odoi, one of the club's best youngsters, has attracted interest from many top European sides and was reportedly unhappy about his limited first-team action before Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich saw three bids rejected for him in January. Earlier this week against Burnley, he ruptured his Achilles and is expected to be sidelined for several months.
Despite this, the Blues have a huge army of loan players - 41 to be precise. Here are three of them who are expected to make an impact in first-team football for Chelsea next season:
#3 Tammy Abraham (on-loan at Aston Villa)
Chelsea seem to have a major problem with regards to scoring goals, as their existing forwards are not clinical enough. Tammy Abraham could prove to be the perfect solution to their issue, as the 21-year-old has steadily developed over the past three seasons from loan spells at Bristol City, Swansea and currently Aston Villa in the Championship.
He has netted 25 goals and created three more in 39 appearances this term under Dean Smith, averaging a goal involvement every 116 minutes, which is impressive given his age and influence in a team battling for promotion. He's a strong dribbler and a set-piece threat given his aerial abilities. Gonzalo Higuain's loan could still be extended while Olivier Giroud has hinted at a potential exit this summer, so Sarri should certainly consider Tammy in senior plans for next season.
He has definitely proven his mettle consistently over recent seasons, while his Premier League experience with Swansea in 17/18 was encouraging too. There's no reason why he doesn't deserve to feature in the first-team next term.