The Loan Report: December 19-27

The Christmas edition of The Loan Report is something of an abridged one as a number of Chelsea’s young loan stars are spending the holiday season away from football, with their leagues enjoying winter breaks.

Matej Delac and Ceske Budejovice went on hiatus earlier in the month and in the last week the Croatian stopper was joined by Jeffrey Bruma, Tomas Kalas, Ulises Dávila and Thibaut Courtois.

Their league campaigns drew to a close last weekend but Bruma and Kalas were both in midweek cup action, whilst Courtois and Dávila didn’t feature in their respective knockout matches.

Bruma played the full match for Hamburg as they lost 2-1 at Stuttgart, whilst Kalas was once again impressive in victory as Vitesse won 2-1 away to FC Eindhoven.

The quartet are set to be joined on mainland Europe by Gael Kakuta, who will end his spell at Bolton at the turn of the year and reportedly head to Dijon in the French top flight.

Needless to say, Kakuta was not in action over Christmas, missing out on the win at Blackburn and a home defeat to Newcastle United. There was also no action for Patrick van Aanholt, who hasn’t featured for Wigan’s first team since October 10th.

Indeed, the only playing time the Dutchman has seen since that date came on December 6th, when he featured for the club’s reserve team in a 5-1 defeat to Liverpool. It begs the question as to why Chelsea have allowed this situation to escalate instead of recalling him to Stamford Bridge as early as possible.

In the Football League, Sam Walker has returned to Cobham earlier than scheduled as Northampton Town manager Aidy Boothroyd signed veteran goalkeeper Shane Higgs and told Sam he would no longer be first choice.

As a result, arguably Town’s player of the season to date was unlikely to get first team football and will instead seek a new move in January. It means Yeovil Town’s Conor Clifford is the only Blue actually playing in domestic football, but even he was an unused substitute for their Boxing Day defeat to league leaders Charlton Athletic.

All in all, it’s been a bit of a grim end to the loan year in 2011. Here’s to hoping for much better in 2012.