It’s time to begin another season of the Loan Report. With twenty-two developmental players already having been borrowed from other clubs there’s plenty to report upon already in what promises to be the busiest #CFC #loanwatch season yet.
Of those twenty-two, three are in the Premier League, and whilst neither Christian Atsu (Bournemouth) nor Patrick Bamford (Crystal Palace) saw opening day playing time, Marco van Ginkel did as he took his place in a versatile Stoke City midfield for the home match against Liverpool. He played well, displaying his trademark stamina, versatile running and desire to transition from defence to attack, and he should be a regular feature going forward.
In The Championship, Tomas Kalas’ second spell at Middlesbrough began with a solid ninety minutes at right-back during their goalless draw away to Preston, and in League One there was a strong start for Jordan Houghton at Gillingham as he put in his trademark hard-working and reliable central midfield display to help his new club upset promotion favourites Sheffield United to the tune of a 4-0 thumping.
Alex Davey has joined him in League One with a month-long arrangement at Peterborough which figures to be extended if he impressed. He went straight into the side that lost 2-0 at Rochdale but will be hoping to take the next step having made useful progress at Scunthorpe last term.
Once again, Chelsea’s relationship with Vitesse Arnhem has been utilised extensively with five youngsters stationed at the Gelredome this season. Lewis Baker and Izzy Brown started both legs of their Europa League defeats to Southampton and reprised those roles in their Eredivisie opener on Sunday, a 1-1 draw away to Willem II. Both looked more comfortable in the league outings with Brown going close to scoring in the first half and Baker being relied upon to lead an inexperienced midfield and control the play from a deep-lying position.
Brazilian winger Nathan and Serbian playmaker Danilo Pantic both played some of the second half from the bench on Sunday to little effect, but Dominic Solanke will not be able to make his debut until later in the month at the earliest owning to paperwork issues. With no established centre-forward in the squad and a lack of goals thus far, manager Peter Bosz has already declared that he will be relying on the 17 year-old to bring some of his 41 goals of last season with him to his new club.
A few miles down the road in Nijmegen is another loanee. Todd Kane has joined newly-promoted (and fierce rivals of Vitesse) NEC for the season and is in line to make his debut on Wednesday against Excelsior in a fixture delayed from this weekend by police strikes.
After earning rave reviews at Elche in ’14-15, Mario Pašalić has earned himself a move to Champions League hopefuls Monaco for the next twelve months. He’s started very well, scoring against Young Boys in a qualifier which has since seen them draw against Valencia in a two-legged tie for a place in the Group Stages, and began their Ligue Une opener away to Nice before being withdrawn inside of half an hour.
Manager Leonardo Jardim did not immediately give a reason for the move, which saw Bernardo Silva come on in Pašalić’s place, but there is little reason to panic and he should see more than his fair share of playing time.
The German season begins with the opening rounds of the DFB Cup, pitting Bundesliga sides away to those from the lower reaches. Chelsea’s sole representative, Andreas Christensen, is in line for a debut tomorrow night as Borussia Mönchengladbach head to St Pauli, and you can keep up with how he does by following @chelseayouth on Twitter.
Two of the lesser known members of the loanwatch clan are taking in the surroundings of Sint-Truiden in the Belgian top flight this season. Ivorian midfielder Victorien Angban completed a full match this weekend against Oostende but Colombian forward Joao Rodriguez is not yet in a position to debut for his new team.
Having helped FK Sarejevo to a league title last season, Matej Delač has returned to FK Sarajevo for a full year and kicked off in style by making a big late save to secure a 2-1 win over Siroki Brijeg on match day one.