Whilst Chelsea were winning the 2015 League Cup, their army of loanees continued to shine this past week as both Mohamed Salah and Bertrand Traore extended their recent run of goalscoring. There was also a host of moves, comings and goings amongst the nearly thirty prospects out and about, but we’ll begin with Salah.
The Egyptian forward has enjoyed a productive start to his stay in Florence by scoring against Sassuolo and Torino in successive league fixtures, and on Thursday he made a continental impact by helping Fiorentina eliminate Tottenham from the Europa League. He showed his customary speed and alertness to take full advantage of a mistake by Jan Vertonghen.
He was on the bench in a rotated team on Sunday for the trip to Inter but an injury to Khouma Babacar close to half time pressed him into action, and he duly netted again to give Vincenzo Montella’s side a 1-0 win.
Fiorentina have the option to take him on loan again next season, contributing his entire wage plus a fee of €1m, and also then have the option to sign him outright for somewhere in the region of €16m. His current form makes that look a rather attractive offer for I Viola.
Traore, meanwhile, scored for the third league match in his last four and the eleventh time this season to help Vitesse to a sixth straight victory. His emphatic close-range volley helped complete a turnaround to beat Zwolle 2-1 and take Peter Bosz’s side up to the heady heights of fifth in the league.
Wallace and Sunday’s birthday boy Josh McEachran were both unused substitutes.
Victor Moses played all of Stoke’s 1-0 win over Hull but there was no action for Christian Atsu as Everton took on Young Boys and Arsenal as the Ghanaian winger suffered an illness.
In the Championship, Nathaniel Chalobah was more down than up as Reading were beaten 3-0 at home by Nottingham Forest but he did go close to scoring a consolation effort with a well-struck shot from distance late in the game. He had been afforded a rest for their loss at Huddersfield in midweek.
Patrick Bamford and Tomas Kalas started Middlesbrough’s 1-0 win over Bolton Tuesday and were then joined by Kenneth Omeruo as all three Blues loanees started under Karanka for the first time for the trip to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday. Unfortunately things didn’t quite go to plan as Omeruo conceded a penalty for a harshly-adjudged handball en route to a 2-0 defeat.
Todd Kane was once again omitted from the Nottingham Forest match day squad and could soon return to Chelsea, as Islam Feruz is. The Scottish Under-21 forward hasn’t featured for Blackpool in over a month and will now head back to base before working out a plan for the rest of the season.
Going back out, however, is Lewis Baker. A brief stay at Sheffield Wednesday has now given way to him joining Milton Keynes Dons until the end of the season, following in the footsteps of Bamford. He’ll provide immediate cover for the injured Dele Alli and came off the bench at Coventry to make his debut on Saturday.
John Swift was twice an unused substitute for Swindon Town this week whilst Alex Davey overcame an injury to return to Scunthorpe’s team for a full outing in a 1-1 draw at home to Yeovil.
Chelsea’s Bundesliga representation is now down to two following the sale of Thorgan Hazard to Borussia Mönchengladbach. The Belgian has signed a five year deal to turn his loan stay into a permanent one, with Chelsea retaining a buy-back clause.
Lucas Piazon started for Eintracht Frankfurt and won a penalty to help them to a 2-1 win over Hamburg, whilst Oriol Romeu was once again scratched to the bench by Stuttgart as they earned a 1-1 draw at Hannover.
In non-Mohamed Salah news, Marco van Ginkel was an unused substitute for Milan at Chievo and Stipe Perica played five minutes of Udinese’s 1-0 defeat at Cesena whilst also managing to collect a yellow card.
Gael Kakuta helped Rayo Vallecano to a 4-2 win over Levante in which all four goals were netted by Alberto Bueno in an astonishing fifteen-minute spell. Mario Pašalić and financially-troubled Elche travel to Celta Vigo on Monday night and you can keep up with his involvement on Twitter by following @chelseayouth.
Marko Marin played 76 minutes for Anderlecht in their 2-0 win over Kortrijk on Sunday, having been cup-tied for their Europa League action in midweek.
Uli Dávila played 76 minutes of Vitória Setúbal’s 3-0 defeat at Nacional; Joao Rodriguez did not travel with the squad as he acclimatises to his latest surroundings.
We welcome Bosnia-Herzegovina and FK Sarajevo back to the Loan Report as Matej Delač moved from Arles-Avignon on Bosnian transfer deadline day to begin a second spell at Vincent Tan’s club. He arrived too late to feature against NK Zvijezda but should be called upon more regularly than he was in France.
Cristian Cuevas was an unused substitute for Universidad de Chile in their 2-1 Copa Libertadores defeat away to Internacional of Brazil.