Chelsea's Loans: The story so far
Last year was a relatively good year for Chelsea sending their players out on loan and it was thought that this season would be much of the same with plenty of players looking to move on their development and looking well placed to make a good impact out on loan as well as some new younger players heading out on loan for the first time.
However, this season has been much more of a mixed bag with some players who are doing very well out on loan and some other players whose this seasons loans has been very poor for them. Without going into full detail of every single player on loan, I will attempt to give a broad idea as to where we are at the moment with our loan players.
Just to give you a point of reference for the figures that I am about to give to you, a squad player at Chelsea say John Mikel Obi has so far made 17 appearances for the club and a regular starter like Eden Hazard has made 28 appearances so far for the club.
So far, we only have two players out on loan who have made over 20 appearances for their clubs and that is Thorgan Hazard who has made 24 appearances for Borussia Monchengladbach. Breaking that down you see that he has started in 9 games and come on as a substitute in a further 15, in terms of minutes he has racked up a total of 1012 minutes which breaks down 42 minutes per appearance, there have only been 2 games that he has not played for his club so far.
Then there is Ryan Bertrand who has made 21 appearances. However, all of those, execpt for one, have been as a starter and he has played the full 90 minutes in every single game that he has played in. The only other player to have this kind of level of regular football is Gael Kakuta, he has only made 16 appearances at Rayo Vallecano – all of them as a starter and he has only missed 2 games and he has completed 90 minutes in all but 2 games.
At the other end of the scale there are some players who really have not got a move that is beneficial to them at all. The biggest issue is Tomas Kalas, loaned to Cologne for the season he has not made a single appearance and has now returned to the club and will be back out soon probably to Middlesbrough. For a player at this stage in his career, it has been a total disaster. Other players who should have done more are Nathaniel Chalobah who finally got a Premiership loan move to Burnley which has also now ended, however that move has only produced a total of 5 appearances only one of them as a starter.
A player who got his first loan move, one that did not work out for him, was John Swift. Having moved to Rotherham on loan things initially looked good, reports early on were very positive and he appeared in the clubs first 4 games starting 2 and coming on as a sub in the other 2. However, after that he did not make another appearance in the following 15 games that he was there before returning to Chelsea.
There are plenty of players where big things were expected this season, so what has happened with them? I will quickly cover a few. Bertrand Traore who remained with Vitesse has so far made 15 appearances 13 starts and 2 sub appearances scoring 4 goals he has only completed 90 minutes twice, his performances have been okay but better was hoped for. His form in the last few games has been much better and 3 of those 4 goals came in the last 2 games, hopefully he can continue that form after the winter break.
Patrick Bamford has slowly grown into life at Middlesbrough and is now an important player for them. He has so far made 19 appearances with 13 of them as a starter and has now scored a very good 8 goals. He is now a regular starter for the club and will look to get as close as possible to his 25 goal total from last season.
A player who it was hoped would make a good impact in the Premier League was Christian Atsu, however having moved to Everton he has really not had the game time at all that Chelsea would have hoped. With 9 starts under his belt at this stage, only 4 of those as a starter it represents a season so far of disappointment.
For me this season only goes to highlight the fickle nature of the loan system, hopefully the second half of the season will see some new moves for players who need them and an upturn in the number of appearances across the board.