We’ve reached (pretty much) the end of the 2014-15 club season, which means it’s time to look back over the campaign as far as things went on the loan front at Chelsea Football Club.
In this review, we look at events as they unfolded in the various remaining parts of the world littered with Blues youngsters.
[table class=”table table-striped”]
Uli Dávila,Vitória Setúbal,14,0
Matej Delač,FK Sarajevo,15,0
Cristian Cuevas,Universidad de Chile,6,0
Islam Feruz,OFI Crete,3,0
Joao Rodriguez,Vitória Setúbal,0,0
Everything here really starts and ends with Matej Delač, who managed the rather impressive feat of becoming the only loanee of the season to lay his hands on a domestic championship title. After a frustrating first half of the season in the French second tier at Arles-Avignon – who spent the entire time rooted to the bottom of the league – he upped sticks in the new year and embarked upon a second trip to FK Sarajevo, where he finished the 2013-14 campaign.
It proved to be an inspired decision. He immediately became first choice and kept nine clean sheets in his fifteen appearances to help propel Sarajevo to a first league title in almost a decade. They go into the Champions League qualifying rounds and will undoubtedly hope their Croatian goalkeeper will be around to help them attempt to reach the group stages.
Delač wasn’t the only Chelsea youngster to experience disappointment in France this season. Colombian forward Joao Rodriguez made the interesting switch to Bastia in August, getting a crack at Ligue 1 football under former Stamford Bridge hero Claude Makelele. He made half a dozen cameo appearances largely as a substitute – including a sparkling half an hour away to PSG – but when Makelele lost his job, he was effectively forgotten about.
That led to a January move to Portugal and Vitória Setúbal, who also revealed at the time they hoped to forge a long-term relationship with Chelsea. Things didn’t really get much better there though, as Rodriguez failed to make a single appearance before departing a week before the end of the season to join up with his country’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup squad.
Mexican forward Uli Dávila fared slightly better in Setúbal with fourteen appearances, a mix of starts and sub outings, but after spending four years pottering around Europe without so much as a sniff of a breakthrough at Chelsea, one might expect him to make a permanent departure this summer.
Islam Feruz backed out of a summer move to the Russian second division and instead spent a long autumn in the Greek Super League with OFI Crete. It was an eventful few months to say the least with manager Gennaro Gattuso often living up to his temperamental reputation and the entire league structure suspended on two separate occasions due to off-field events. Feruz escaped the problems at the turn of the year but in moving to Blackpool, it was a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire…
Marko Marin’s injury problems at Fiorentina saw them dispense with his services at the earliest convenience, with Anderlecht picking up the slack and adding him to a squad attempting to retain the Belgian league title. They didn’t, and Marin spent the majority of his time there injured. The more things change…
That brings us to Cristian Cuevas; the last loanee and the one stationed furthest away from Stamford Bridge. After taking in some of the Netherlands last term, he made a return to his homeland last summer and joined Universidad de Chile on loan for the season. He made just half a dozen appearances despite being part of the overall squad for their league and Copa Libertadores campaign, and returning to South America can’t have done much to help his integration into European football, so an interesting time awaits as far as his Chelsea career goes too; as indeed it does for more than half of the thirty-plus players we’ve covered here at TheChels this past season.
It promises to be a busy summer and, as always, you can keep fully up to date on the latest #CFC #loanwatch proceedings here and on Twitter @chelseayouth.