Stipe Perica takes a rare step into the spotlight this week as the Loan Report’s solitary goalscorer, but the last seven days have also been largely positive for Chelsea’s army of talented young loanees.
The young Croatian forward is approaching a year in Italy at Udinese after leaving Dutch side NAC Breda last January to embark upon an 18-month deal with the Zebretti, and it’s not been plain sailing in all honesty. He’s struggled to earn a regular starting place in that time and has largely been consigned to opportunities in the Coppa Italia, as he was this past week with a home tie against Atalanta.
Impressively, he took advantage of it by scoring the winning goal with this smartly-taken headed effort. Maybe he’ll get more playing time going forward, but he didn’t get any away to Fiorentina on Sunday.
Nathan Aké survived a scary-looking fall for Watford at home to Norwich on Saturday, emerging with little more than a sore neck to complete another ninety minutes at full-back for the Hornets, with a clean sheet thrown in for good measure. He’s managed to establish himself as a huge part of what is turning into a very successful season for the newly-promoted outfit and it’s to his enormous credit that he’s doing so in a position he’s never been quite as comfortable with as he is at centre-back or in defensive midfield.
Victor Moses started for West Ham at Manchester United but suffered a hamstring injury which is set to keep him out until late January, a particularly disappointing development considering the injuries to West Ham’s other attacking midfielders and the increase in playing time that might have arrived had he remained fit.
Marco van Ginkel played the final quarter of an hour for Stoke in their win at home to Manchester City, whilst Patrick Bamford isn’t expected to start for Crystal Palace at Everton on Monday night. Christian Atsu is still injured but would’ve been ineligible to play for Bournemouth away to parent club Chelsea this weekend in any event.
Tomas Kalas missed Middlesbrough’s League Cup exit to Everton through injury in midweek but was at least back on the bench for Friday’s trip to Ipswich. John Swift, a scorer for Brentford at Bolton last Monday night, missed out for new manager Dean Smith’s first match at home to Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday through injury, whilst developments at Reading this week saw manager Steve Clarke sacked after a defeat at home to Queens Park Rangers in which Michael Hector captained the Royals and Lucas Piazon was the odd loanee in six left out of the matchday squad.
There was no Alex Davey for Peterborough against Luton in the FA Cup whilst Jordan Houghton and Gillingham had the weekend off having already been eliminated from the same competition/
What a week it was to be Andreas Christensen. Borussia Mönchengladbach’s stunning turnaround this season hit a new high on Saturday with a 3-1 win at home to the previously unbeaten Bayern Munich, and the Dane was imperious at the heart of the home defence. If you’re into the stats, he had a 100% tackle success rate, made seven clearances, five interceptions and four blocks, but overall he looked as if he belonged in turning over one of the world’s very best attacking outfits. Food for thought when considering whether to thrown even more money at John Stones, you might say…
It was also a pretty big week for Jeremie Boga. The talented attacking midfielder grew up in Marseille as a huge OM fan and, on Thursday night, took to the field against them for the first time. His Rennes side lost 1-0 to a fine Remy Cabella strike but it was his first full ninety minutes in the league this season and he was pretty good for the most part too. His movement off the ball was useful, he regularly looked to come deep to get involved in the build-up, and he had one or two chances in front of goal he might look back on and wish he’d have done better, but things are definitely moving along quite nicely at this stage.
He got half an hour at Saint Etienne on Sunday, coming on and helping Rennes to a credible away point, even though they had the chances late on to take all three back with them. Given their position towards the bottom of Ligue Une, they might well view it as two points lost, especially as they held a long-time lead.
Mario Pašalić got 84 minutes for Monaco at home to second-placed Caen in midweek and then took his turn sitting it out in their busy midfield rotation on Saturday, remaining unused on the bench at Bastia.
Vitesse faced a big match at home to PSV Eindhoven on Saturday and they did so with just one Chelsea player in the starting line-up again. Peter Bosz chose to stick with the team that won last weekend’s derby at home to NEC Nijmegen, meaning Dominic Solanke kept his place in attack but Lewis Baker was left on the bench alongside Izzy Brown, with Danilo Pantic absent and Nathan still back in England rehabbing his knee injury.
Solanke put in a very mature performance against two impressive centre-backs in Hector Moreno and former Chelsea player Jeffrey Bruma, and might well have scored on more than one occasion had he a little more luck and maybe a dash more poise. One of his best chances came in the closing stages, when Baker – on as an 83rd minute sub – did well down the right and rolled a teasing ball across the face of goal only for it to just elude his stride. Brown, who came on with three minutes remaining, also laid on a chance for the 18 year-old, but his header was narrowly over and PSV duly went down the other end to score a stoppage-time winner and break home hearts.
Todd Kane was his usual busy and energetic self in NEC’s 2-2 draw on Sunday against PEC Zwolle, a result that takes them level on points with Vitesse in 6th.
The Coppa Italia was also kind to Wallace at Carpi this week, with the Brazilian full-back given a very rare start in their 2-1 win over Serie B’s Vicenza, who many Chelsea fans will remember from fabled Cup Winners Cup runs of the 1990s. He still only played half of the match though, going off injured and missing Sunday’s home match with Milan.
Napoli’s entry into the cup doesn’t begin for a fortnight so there wasn’t the same chance for Nathaniel Chalobah to get onto the pitch again, instead remaining on the bench as Maurizio Sarri’s side lost their unbeaten league record away to Bologna. He should get some time this week in the Europa League, however.
Juan Cuadrado came on late in Juventus’ win at Lazio and he too is set for European football this week as the Champions League Group Stage comes to an end.
Cristian Manea is alive and well and made his long-awaited debut for Mouscron in midweek as the Belgian Cup came up trumps for him. He helped them overcome OH Leuven but was then back on the bench at the weekend in the league, but they all count!
Sint-Truiden lost to Standard Liege at the same stage with Joao Rodriguez the only one of Chelsea’s loanee triplets at the club to play. He got ten minutes as a substitute and was then an unused substitute in their weekend victory over Oostende, when Victorien Angban missed out injured with an adductor strain but Cristian Cuevas claimed something of an assist when his glancing header from a free kick landed kindly for Mo Tchite to prod home.
A weekend of foul weather in Scotland meant Hibernian and Islam Feruz had their fixture postponed on Saturday.
Kenneth Omeruo played in Kasimpasa’s midweek cup defeat to Kastamonuspor and then again in a win at Osmanlispor on Saturday – with a clean sheet too. Turkish media reports have suggested that Kasimpasa may be willing to part with the £5m required to make his loan stay a permanent one, with the Nigerian defender entering into the final eighteen months of his Chelsea contract.
Marko Marin and Trabzonspor face Eskisehirspor on Monday night; if there’s anything notable in his performance, you’ll hear about it on Twitter @chelseayouth.
Uli Dávila is not long for this Loan Report world. This week he agreed a three-year deal with Mexican side Santos Laguna and will report for pre-season training next week, bringing an end to his stay at Vitória Setúbal and his Chelsea career.
He spent time at Vitesse, Sabadell, Córdoba and Tenerife before heading to Portugal a little over a year ago but never looked close to being of the required standard to stand a chance at making a Stamford Bridge breakthrough, and his signing was one of the more curious ones made by Michael Emenalo and company these past few years. In any event, he deserves the best of luck in his post-Chelsea career. Uli, we hardly knew ye.