Jeremie Boga takes centre stage in this week’s Loan Report as he crowned his first Ligue Une start with a first senior professional goal.
Prior this weekend, Boga had only started once for Rennes against Bastia in the French League Cup but, with injuries limiting Philippe Montanier’s options in attack, he handed the 18 year-old a first start in the league away to Reims. He was nominally positioned as the centre-forward but often played deeper and wider, and just before half time, he did this:
He was substituted after an hour with top-level match fitness still a work in progress but the signs are positive, especially when he’s able to make an impact like he did here.
There was more joy for Nathan Aké and Watford; the Dutch full-back returned to their starting line-up for the trip to Aston Villa and he handled his duties pretty respectably in their 3-1 win.
Patrick Bamford got a token few minutes from the bench as Crystal Palace embarrassed Newcastle in the Alan Pardew derby, but there were no minutes for Marco van Ginkel at Stoke (unused substitute) nor Bournemouth’s Christian Atsu (injured). Victor Moses did at least complete ninety minutes for just the second time all season as West Ham were held to a 1-1 draw at home to West Brom.
In The Championship, Michael Hector and Lucas Piazon both started for Reading in their 3-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest. Piazon was substituted during the second half in a quiet performance, the sort he’s becoming known for at the Madejski Stadium despite managing to impact the scoresheet on a semi-regular basis.
Tomas Kalas missed Middlesbrough’s trip to Huddersfield through injury, and John Swift’s Brentford travel to Bolton on Monday night. You’ll be able to keep up with anything notable from that one on Twitter @chelseayouth.
There was no action for Jordan Houghton or Alex Davey in League one, a particularly disappointing trend for Houghton, who was a key player for Gillingham in the first two months of the season before taking a back seat of late. It could simply be a case of managing the demands of a first full season at professional level, so there’s nothing immediate to worry about, but in Davey’s case he hasn’t had a look-in under Graham Westley and should be looking forward to January and a move elsewhere.
It was derby weekend in the Gelderlands as sixth-placed Vitesse welcomed local neighbours NEC Nijmegen to the Gelredome, and it was also a Chelsea loanee derby as the five Arnhem-based youngsters were due to square off against Todd Kane, who has been a reliable and dependable right-back all season long for NEC.
As it turned out, Vitesse won 1-0 with fleeting involvement from the Blues. Kane was probably the best of them, displaying his typically relentless motor up and down the right all game long, and he went close to scoring twice during a busy first half. Dominic Solanke was the only loanee to start for Vitesse and was often isolated in a tough game for him, whilst Lewis Baker – left out in favour of the more combative Marvelous Nakamba – played the last eight minutes to help see out the slender lead.
Izzy Brown and Danilo Pantic were both unused substitutes and Nathan remains back at base in Cobham recovering from a recent meniscus injury.
There was great news this week as Nathaniel Chalobah finally made his first start for Napoli. It came away to Club Brugge in the Europa League and owed much to the fact Napoli rested numerous key players having already qualified as group winners, but with opportunities having been nigh-on non-existent so far, we’ll take what we can get.
He played 80 minutes and did well enough, showing plenty of the hallmarks of his style whilst maybe not getting into his full stride because the match desperately lacked intensity and was played behind closed doors due to the ongoing security issues in Belgium.
He’ll probably return to the bench for the visit of Inter on Monday night but, like Swift, if he’s involved at all you’ll know about it @chelseayouth.
Juan Cuadrado played the last ten minutes of Juventus’ Champions League win over Manchester City and couldn’t make too much happen in such little time, and was a little subdued in his 68 minutes away to Palermo on Sunday evening.
Neither Wallace at Carpi nor Stipe Perica at Udinese saw any time in Sunday’s latest round of Serie A action.
Andreas Christensen and Borussia Mönchengladbach have done exceptionally well to turn around their dismal start to the season – one that cost manager Lucien Favre his job – and are on course to qualify for the Europa League after beating Sevilla 4-2 on Wednesday to take control of third-place in their Champions League group.
Gladbach’s typically strong defence was then exposed a little more at Hoffenheim on Saturday as the two sides shared six goals and a point each in a 3-3 draw. Christensen, of course, played the entirety of both matches as the undisputed first-choice centre-back.
Victorien Angban returned from a one-match suspension to reassume his position in Sint-Truidense’s midfield at home to Mouscron. He and Cristian Cuevas played the full match, Joao Rodriguez saw a handful of minutes from the bench, but Cristian Manea was once again absent for the victorious Mouscron side with accusations in the Romanian press this weekend claiming that the prestigious move to Chelsea (and the wage that came with it) has seem complacency kick in with the young full-back, particularly with regards to his work in training (or lack of it).
Mario Pašalić played an hour for Monaco at home to Anderlecht in Thursday’s Europa League clash before remaining an unused sub for their eventful trip to Marseille on Sunday.
Kenneth Omeruo was fit to start again for Kasimpasa at home to Galatasaray and played his part in helping them achieve a credible 2-2 draw.
Marko Marin and Trabzonspor head to Fenerbahce on what will be a busier-than-usual Monday night of action alongside Swift and Chalobah.
There was no match for Hibernian this weekend so Islam Feruz had no chance of playing his customary five minutes as a substitute.
Uli Dávila didn’t play for Vitória Setúbal against Madeira and is reported to be in talks with Santos Laguna about a return to Mexican football. It’d be long overdue for the winger, who turns 25 in April.