We’re back to domestic action after the international break, and we’ve got a fresh loan report for you on the last seven days for Chelsea’s youngsters plying their trade away from Stamford Bridge.
We’ll start in the Netherlands, where two Blues find themselves flying high in the Eredivisie with Vitesse Arnhem. Tomas Kalas started and played 90 minutes (picking up a booking) and Ulises Dávila was an unused substitute for Sunday’s 1-0 derby victory away to NEC.
Kalas has been part of a fantastic defensive unit in Arnhem which has conceded just one goal with him on the pitch, and after a season of struggles in 2010-11, Vitas sit in fifth place and have looked one of the most exciting teams in the country.
In the Netherlands, Jeffrey Bruma returned from picking up his first senior competitive international cap for Holland away to Sweden with a start at the heart of Hamburg’s defence away to SC Freiburg, and was on the winning side as Frank Arnesen’s side picked up a rare three points.
Arnesen was in charge for just one match as a necessary coaching license holder, but the club has hired Thorsten Fink as their new coach and he will begin his job tomorrow off the back of a good performance.
Staying overseas, Thibaut Courtois continues to impress in Spain and kept his sixth clean sheet in seven league games (and eight overall) for Atlético Madrid, who drew 0-0 away to Granada.
The teenage Belgian stopper may not have been fully extended in all of his outings but his maturity, composure, focus and technical ability have been evident in the early stages of his Spanish career and he has won a lot of admirers thus far.
Elsewhere, whilst Matej Delac was on the bench for České Budějovice’s 1-1 Gambrinus Liga draw against FK Teplice, he did make his debut for the club – and his first senior club appearance in over a year – in the Czech Cup.
Delac started and kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 Quarter Final victory over Viktoria Zizkov and may have to look to cup outings for his action in the short-term at the very least.
Such inconsistencies in securing regular first-team football continued on domestic shores, where a clash between Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanderers at the DW Arena should have seen Patrick van Aanholt go up against Gael Kakuta.
Unfortunately, the Dutch left-back was left out of Wigan’s matchday squad entirely, whilst Kakuta failed to make it off Bolton’s bench for yet another league outing.
Van Aanholt’s omission appears to have gone unexplained by Roberto Martinez, and whilst Bolton picked up a rare victory, Owen Coyle’s ambivalence towards using his young Frenchman seems confusing given his club’s recent troubles.
Milan Lalkovic’s loan spell at Doncaster ended on Friday meaning the sole Chelsea representative in the football league in Sam Walker, who continues to impress for Northampton Town and is the supporters’ early concensus for player of the season.
The Cobblers lost 3-0 at Port Vale on Friday night but Walker’s performances and general development have gone down well at the Sixfields Stadium, with goalkeeping coach Tim Flowers very much a fan of the giant young goalie.