The Loan Reports is back.
Every Sunday evening during the 2011-12 season, TheChels.net will take a look at Chelsea’s young loanees as they extend and further their developments by taking in spells away from Stamford Bridge.
Two reserve team players headed out this week to take the current total at other clubs to five, and it’s a tally which is only going to grow in the coming weeks, with up to half a dozen potential movers.
One of the boys who made his move in the past seven days was Milan Lalkovic. The Slovakian joined Doncaster Rovers on an initial month-long deal as cover for an injury-stricken strike force and he made his debut in professional football just 48 hours later against high-flying Derby County.
Wearing the number 27 shirt and largely playing from the left wing in a 4-3-3 formation, it was a frustrating afternoon for Milan and his team-mates as they went down to a 3-0 defeat, but he showed enough to impress a portion of the Rovers support and should thrive when one or two players return from injury – most notably leading scorer Billy Sharp.
Lalkovic has been denied permission by Chelsea to feature in this midweek’s Carling Cup tie, and would therefore likely come into contention for the Blues should they receive a favourable draw when they enter the competition in the third round draw.
Ben Gordon also joined a Championship outfit this week in Peterborough United and enjoyed a dream debut as his new team thrashed Ipswich Town 7-1 at London Road on Saturday evening.
The England Under-20 left-back came off the bench just before the hour mark and is expected to hold down a regular place in Darren Ferguson’s starting eleven once he is fully up to speed, having spent a month away with England in Colombia at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup over the summer.
In League Two, Sam Walker’s season at Northampton kicked off a fortnight ago and first impressions have largely been positive, but the Cobblers have suffered back to back defeats in the past week to bring them back down to earth.
A 2-1 reverse at promotion chasers Bristol Rovers was followed by losing out to the odd goal in five at home to Cheltenham Town, but the giant custodian was unable to do anything about any of the the goals conceded.
In Germany, Jeffrey Bruma and Hamburg were humbled on Saturday afternoon as they travelled to Bayern Munich and came back on the wrong side of a 5-0 thumping.
It was the second straight season that HSV have been handed an embarrassing defeat at the Allianz Arena and Dutch defender Bruma was at the heart of a defence which was caused problems all afternoon.
Partnered by former Blue Michael Mancienne, Bruma was hardly helped by an exceptionally defensive team selection which merely invited Bayern to attack at will, and in truth the hosts could easily have racked up double figures.
Hamburg will certainly have better days but their start to the season has been a tricky one, travelling to two of the league’s best sides in their opening three games (as they opened at Dortmund), and will now look to get their campaign started properly.
In Spain, Thibaut Courtois was on Atlético Madrid’s substitutes bench for their midweek Europa League qualifier after suffering a mild knee problem, but was unable to take part in the planned season opener this weekend with the league on strike due to unpaid player wages. The Belgian is set to displace young stopper Joel as the starter in Gregorio Manzano’s goal as soon as he is 100% fit.
Young South American forwards Lucas Piazon (Sao Paolo) and Jhon Pirez (Uruguay) have both been at Cobham in August, with the Brazilian Piazon spending a week training during the international break whilst Pirez is working through rehab on his seriously injured knee.
Finally, reports in Portugal over the weekend suggested that Cameroonian forward Gael Etock – linked with Chelsea – has signed a permanent contract with Sporting Lisbon and has not been loaned to them as was initially reported.