It’s that time again.
The tenth season of the Loan Report gets under way here at TheChels.net and it promises to be no less exciting now than it has been over a decade that has seen Chelsea launch England’s most expansive programme of developing young talent both for performance and for profit. A wide-reaching and often controversial programme, it has been the source of criticism and inspiration, as a number of Premier League clubs have followed the club’s lead in not just loaning out key youngsters, but in building an infrastructure around them to both manage and improve them while playing in all corners of the world.
With that in mind, we’ll kick off the 2019-20 season with a look at the in-house changes down at Cobham.
Eddie Newton has looked after the loan programme for the better part of the last seven years, initially having the role somewhat thrust upon him when Roberto Di Matteo was sacked by Roman Abramovich, with club staff wanting to keep him around. The team around him eventually expanded to include Paulo Ferreira, Tore Andre Flo and Christoph Lollichon, and as Newton this summer moves up to join Frank Lampard’s first team coaching staff, another pair of former Blues have arrived to help fill the void.
Carlo Cudicini has been formally appointed as Loan Technical Coach in the wake of Newton’s promotion and, while Ferreira is expected to assume more of a lead role due to his experience in the department, there will be a concerted push to help the ex-Italy goalkeeper develop his coaching credentials. Claude Makelele, meanwhile, has been drafted in as a Young Player Technical Mentor; a loosely-defined role that will see him work with the younger generations in a similar manner to the way in which Petr Cech will align with the first team. Ensuring that there is a regular and meaningful dialogue between the various levels of football at Chelsea is an important aspect of building towards consistent success; it’s something that has been missing for a lot of time over the last few years, and it’s a positive sign that these measures are now being taken.
With the Premier League not kicking off until next weekend, the Football League had the stage all to itself as the new season bloomed into life, and it came with lots of new faces in new places. Conor Gallagher, the reigning Academy Player of the Year, joined Charlton Athletic on Friday to mark his first move into the senior game, and made his Addicks debut late in their win at Blackburn less than day after arriving in South London. Manager Lee Bowyer is positive about the sort of impact he can make at The Valley.
Jake Clarke-Salter is back in England after solid building year at Vitesse, and will spend at least the next five months with Birmingham City, in what is planned to be a full season loan at St Andrews. He was an unused substitute in their surprise win at Brentford.
Dujon Sterling’s move to Wigan was completed too late for him to be a realistic option for Wigan against Championship returnees Cardiff, but Matt Miazga was straight back in for Reading as he started his second spell at the Madejski Stadium with a good display in their 3-1 defeat by Sheffield Wednesday. Capturing the American centre-back was a major coup for the hard-up Royals this summer and, although they lost to the Owls, he was imposing in the air as ever and will be a key player in their fight to stay up this term.
Luke McCormick’s first venture into the professional game has taken him up to Shrewsbury Town, where he started with an energetic 53-minute outing against title favourites Portsmouth. Manager Sam Ricketts admitted that he chose to start the 20 year-old for the impact he had made in pre-season and, despite an early withdrawal, there are plenty of reasons to expect him to play early and often in Shropshire.
Fellow Development Squad stand-out Richard Nartey has also ventured out for the first time, signing for Burton Albion, where Brad Collins was impressive in goal last time out. A strong pre-season was interrupted by injury, however, and he was only fit to take his place on the bench in their 1-0 defeat to Ipswich on Saturday.
Nathan Baxter’s impressive career to date has taken him from the Metropolitan Police to Solihull Moors, to Woking and Yeovil, and now north of the border to Scottish Premiership newcomers Ross County but, unfortunately, a shoulder injury sustained in pre-season will rule him out of the first couple of months of action. After having a successful operation and beginning rehab, he was present at Dingwall to watch his new team-mates open the campaign with a 3-0 win over Hamilton.
Operation was successful. Been a good two weeks of rehab so far. Already looking forward to getting back on the pitch soon! Thanks for the continued support ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/zQmLF6NLlG
— Nathan Baxter (@NathanBaxterGK) July 29, 2019
Charly Musonda is back at Vitesse after seeing his 18-19 season almost entirely wiped out by injury and, in playing the last eleven minutes of their highly-entertaining 2-2 draw against champions Ajax, he equalled his playing time from last term on the opening day. In what is a make-or-break season for the Belgian, a strong showing in Arnhem could easily reignite his career, and take him back onto the path so many expected him to take while shining bright as a teenager.
Iké Ugbo joined second-tier side Roda JC on Saturday and will look to make his debut at home to Almere City on Friday night. Having struggled to make a proper impression at Barnsley, Milton Keynes or Scunthorpe in the English lower leagues, a change of scenery could be just the ticket for a player who has always scored goals.
We pick up on Nathan‘s spell at Atlético-MG again after leaving him in May; an extension was signed to keep him there until the end of December, but playing time has been just as hard to come by, and he was an unused substitute in their Copa Sudamericana clash with Botafogo on Thursday. Atlético hosed Cruzeiro in league action shortly after this report was published; Nathan scored a late goal we’ll cover in next week’s update.
Ethan Ampadu and Lewis Baker are gearing up for a new Bundesliga season, which kicks off on August 16th, and they do so at markedly different stages in their careers. Ampadu, 18 and out on his first loan, joins a youthful RB Leipzig squad aiming to make a mark in the Champions League, while the 24 year-old Baker has a year to impress at Fortuna Dusseldorf, who have a €10m option to make his stay a permanent one if he impresses there.
Victor Moses remains at Fenerbahce on an eighteen-month agreement and starts his new season next weekend, while Mario Pašalić is back with Atalanta for a second go and will be a part of their Champions League debut run. Serie A doesn’t begin until the last weekend of the month, though, so we won’t hear much from him for a while yet.
Alvaro Morata remains with Atlético Madrid and, with a deal having been struck for his permanent move there next summer, he will not be featured in this season’s Loan Reports.
Who else is to come?
With less than a week left in the transfer window for Premier League and Championship clubs, there is a certain urgency to bring players in, while the rest of the country and Europe have the remainder of August to finalise their plans. To that end, any of all of Tiémoué Bakayoko, Kenedy, FIkayo Tomori, Izzy Brown, Trevoh Chalobah, Michael Hector, Jacob Maddox, Kenneth Omeruo, Danilo Pantic, Lucas Piazon and Baba Rahman could find themselves back on the loan trail, although several are also exploring permanent departures. We’ve said farewell this summer to a host of those who joined us on these pages in years gone by, and there is every chance those goodbyes will be extended to several more before we turn the pages of the diary into September.
Started: August 1st
Updated: August 18th
|Player||Club||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe/Cont||Other||Mins|
|Ethan Ampadu||RB Leipzig||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Lewis Baker||Fortuna Dusseldorf||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||194||2||0|
|Isaiah Brown||Luton Town||0 (1)||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||103||1 (1)||0|
|Trevoh Chalobah||Huddersfield Town||0 (1)||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||126||1 (1)||0|
|Jake Clarke-Salter||Birmingham City||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||90||1||0|
|Conor Gallagher||Charlton Athletic||2 (1)||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||204||2 (1)||2|
|Jacob Maddox||Tranmere Rovers||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Luke McCormick||Shrewsbury Town||3||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||279||4||0|
|Charly Musonda||Vitesse Arnhem||0 (3)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||65||0 (3)||0|
|Richard Nartey||Burton Albion||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Nathan||Atlético-MG||0 (2)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||50||0 (2)||1|
|Dujon Sterling||Wigan Athletic||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||90||1||0|
|Iké Ugbo||Roda JC||0 (1)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||45||0 (1)||0|
|Player||Club||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Mins|
|Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht|
|Nathan Baxter||Ross County||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|