And we’re back.
The 2020-21 Loan Army season started five days before the 2019-20 season finished, when Victor Moses and Inter were on the losing side in the Europa League Final against Sevilla, drawing a line under the longest campaign any of us are likely to witness in our lifetimes. Earlier that week, however, Danilo Pantic had made his debut for Serbian Premier League side Čukarički, kicking off another year of tracking Chelsea’s often far-flung youngsters as they grow in their careers.
The Loan Report this season might not run as a weekly edition as has been the case for the last decade, but we’ll very much stay on top of things as they happen. With August pretty much done and dusted, let’s see what the new term has in store for us.
Guehi returns to Swansea
As was widely-reported when he joined them in January, Marc Guehi has returned to Swansea City for the duration of the 2020-21 season, and will look to build upon a very promising finish to his first spell in South Wales, where he helped a young team to the playoffs and established himself as one of the best young defenders in the Championship. After a shaky start to life at the Liberty, he took a back seat, learned from his mistakes before capitalising on a defensive injury crisis to make the centre-back position his own.
He’ll now be looked upon by manager Steve Cooper as a potential leader and someone he can rely on week in and week out. It’s the right move for him to make at this stage of his career and his stock should continue to trend upwards.
As previously noted, Guehi's ball progression, whether it's forward runs or passes, has been superb for us – a huge plus for us to get him for a full season. #ChelseaFC #Swans pic.twitter.com/uZYUn2YHFq
— Swans Analytics (@SwansAnalytics) August 29, 2020
Marc Guehi, or as I now prefer to call him- Addji Keaninkin Marc-Israel Guehi – has shown plenty of confidence in bringing the ball out from the back – here are his progressive ball carries this season and where the ball ends up after a carry (minus last 2 games) #Swans pic.twitter.com/RU0QqYJZeZ
— Swans Analytics (@SwansAnalytics) July 28, 2020
Chalobah heads overseas
Having spent the last two seasons in England’s second tier with Ipswich Town and Huddersfield Town, Trevoh Chalobah has branched out and opted to link up with Ligue 1 newcomers Lorient in France for the next year. Pegged again as a holding midfielder despite an interest in playing in central defence – a position many feel is his best – he has been unable to feature in either of their league outings to date after testing positive for Covid-19. He remains asymptomatic and is observing the required protocols before returning to duty.
Blues boys in Belgium
Charlie Brown swapped Cobham for Brussels in January when he joined Union-SG on loan, but the Belgian Second Division was cancelled due to the pandemic in March, when he had made just five appearances. He subsequently agreed to return to the club owned by Brighton supremo Tony Bloom again this summer, and has been an unused substitute in both of their league matches so far.
Joining him in Belgium is Iké Ugbo, who impressed enough at Roda in the Netherlands to earn himself a crack at the Belgian Pro league with Cercle Brugge, who are managed by ex-Chelsea coach Paul Clement. Cercle have the option to make the move permanent for a fee of €4.5m and Ugbo got himself off to a great start with a debut goal against Mechelen last weekend; the first Loan Army goal of the season.
Goalkeepers on the move
Jamal Blackman turns 27 in September but, despite discussing his options rather candidly with The Athletic earlier in the year, is yet to cut ties with Chelsea entirely. His eighth loan departure sees him return to Yorkshire with Rotherham United, having previously played for nearby Sheffield United and Leeds United. A broken leg suffered while on loan with the latter in November 2018 sidelined him for more than a year and, when he found fitness again, he was limited to just nine appearances for Bristol Rovers before League One was cancelled due to the pandemic. Now back in the Championship again, he’ll be trying to make up for lost time.
Jamie Cumming is six years his junior and has embarked upon his first move away from Chelsea by joining Stevenage for the upcoming campaign. The Hertfordshire side were relegated from the Football League in June only to be given a late reprieve when Macclesfield were sent down in their place due to financial breaches, leaving Alex Revell’s team with an unenviable task of readjusting on the fly. He made his senior bow in an eventful League Cup tie at home to Portsmouth, losing on penalties after a 3-3 draw.
– Izzy Brown joined Sheffield Wednesday heading into the last year of his contract, although Chelsea reportedly hold an option to trigger a one-year extension. One of the best creators in the Championship with Luton last season, Brown was limited to just 17 league starts due to injury, and Wednesday will be hoping he can help them out of a hole as they start the season with a twelve-point deficit due after breaking financial fair play rules.
– The aforementioned Pantic returned to Serbian football after an ill-advised switch to Hungary with MOL Vidi last year. Having impressed with Partizan Belgrade in 2017 and 2018, all signs pointed towards a permanent switch to his boyhood club, only for things to go well off course. Čukarički were lining up a free transfer, but have instead settled on a loan deal, joining Vitesse and Excelsior in having his services on a temporary basis. Still, he’s started well, and has already registered an assist (wearing 55 in the second-half in the highlights below).
– Speaking of Vitesse, 2019-20 was the quietest year on record in their relationship with Chelsea as Charly Musonda’s 65 minutes represented the totality of the affiliate contribution. That should change in the weeks and months ahead after Armando Broja became the 29th player to make the short trip between London and Arnhem, and he’s already made an impact, scoring twice in a reserve team friendly before earning a maiden call-up to the Albanian senior national team for their September UEFA Nations League matches. It’s quite a rise for a player who wasn’t even the Under-18s’ first-choice striker a year or so ago.
Happy to make my @MijnVitesse debut and to score 2 goals ⚽️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/6PsPbAz0k5
— Armando Broja (@armandobroja9) August 23, 2020
Started: August 22nd
Finished: May 31st
|Player||Club||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe/Cont||Other||Mins|
|Ethan Ampadu||Sheffield United||24 (2)||0||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||2450||27 (2)||0|
|Tiemoue Bakayoko||Napoli||23 (8)||2||2 (2)||0||0||0||5 (2)||0||1||0||2480||31 (10)||2|
|Lewis Baker||Trabzonspor||29 (5)||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0 (1)||0||2733||30 (6)||2|
|Ross Barkley||Aston Villa||19 (6)||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1613||19 (6)||3|
|Michy Batshuayi||Crystal Palace||7 (11)||2||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||897||9 (11)||2|
|Armando Broja||Vitesse Arnhem||21 (9)||10||3 (1)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2186||24 (10)||11|
|Charlie Brown||Union SG||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Isaiah Brown||Sheffield Wednesday||4 (15)||0||0 (1)||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||647||5 (16)||0|
|Juan Castillo||AZ Alkmaar||0 (1)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||6||0||457||6 (1)||0|
|Juan Castillo||ADO Den Haag||9 (7)||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||878||10 (7)||0|
|Trevoh Chalobah||Lorient||24 (5)||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2301||25 (5)||2|
|Jake Clarke-Salter||Birmingham City||9 (1)||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||881||10 (1)||0|
|Danny Drinkwater||Kasimpasa||6 (5)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||519||6 (5)||0|
|Conor Gallagher||West Bromwich Albion||28 (2)||2||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||2683||30 (2)||2|
|Marco van Ginkel||PSV||3 (8)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||351||3 (8)||1|
|Marc Guehi||Swansea City||43||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3950||45||0|
|Kenedy||Granada||18 (10)||4||3 (1)||2||0||0||11 (1)||2||0||0||2516||34 (12)||8|
|Ruben Loftus-Cheek||Fulham||21 (9)||1||1 (1)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2032||22 (10)||1|
|Ian Maatsen||Charlton Athletic||31 (3)||1||0 (1)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2896||31 (4)||1|
|Luke McCormick||Bristol Rovers||36 (3)||6||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3318||39 (3)||6|
|George McEachran||MVV Maastricht||1 (2)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||100||1 (2)||0|
|Victor Moses||Spartak Moscow||18 (1)||4||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1604||19 (1)||4|
|Danilo Pantic||Cukaricki||17 (10)||1||0 (1)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1588||17 (11)||1|
|Lucas Piazon||Rio Ave||6 (2)||2||0 (1)||0||0||0||3||0||0||0||789||9 (3)||2|
|Baba Rahman||PAOK||11 (2)||1||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1383||14 (2)||1|
|Jonathan Russell||Accrington Stanley||12 (13)||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1330||13 (13)||2|
|Malang Sarr||FC Porto||5 (3)||0||4||0||1||1||4 (2)||0||0||0||1401||14 (5)||1|
|Fikayo Tomori||Milan||16 (1)||1||0 (1)||0||0||0||4||0||0||0||1896||20 (2)||1|
|Iké Ugbo||Cercle Brugge||32||16||0 (2)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2753||32 (2)||17|
|Tariq Uwakwe||Accrington Stanley||12 (3)||1||0 (1)||0||0||0||0||0||4 (1)||3||1206||16 (5)||4|
|Davide Zappacosta||Genoa||23 (2)||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2048||23 (2)||4|
|Player||Club||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Mins|
|Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht|
|Nathan Baxter||Accrington Stanley||16||6||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||1||1657||19||7|
|Jamal Blackman||Rotherham United||25 (1)||5||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||2543||30 (1)||5|
|Teddy Sharman-Lowe||Burton Albion||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||2||0||270||3||0|