The last Loan Report of 2020 drops mere days before the January transfer window opens. With 31 players already out on loan and a talented Development Squad bursting at the seams with players ready to test their mettle at the next level, it could be a busy month at Chelsea. Let’s have a look at who could be on the move.
On the face of things, Conor is unlikely to go anywhere. He’s arguably made himself the first name on the team sheet at West Brom, thriving as one of the most talented young players in the Premier League, and is playing almost every available minute to a high standard. He ticks all the boxes, but circumstances outside of his control may dictate what happens next. The Baggies sacked Slaven Bilic before Christmas and replaced him with Sam Allardyce, who oversaw an inauspicious debut defeat at home to Aston Villa before digging in to earn a point away to Liverpool.
Depending on how things unfold in the coming weeks, the Blues may be inclined to seek alternative arrangements, as there will be high demand for Conor’s services should he become available. They made a similar move this time last year in taking him out of a struggling Charlton team despite being among their very best performers, and sending him to playoff-chasing Swansea, an environment that challenged him further and helped him take the step in to top-flight football last summer. Reports of his West Brom deal being a ‘full season agreement’ don’t mean very much; recall clauses aren’t always publicised, and Chelsea can essentially do what they like with their asset as long as they compensate West Brom accordingly for the early termination of the deal.
It might not happen, even if things unravel under Allardyce, but it’s certainly one to keep an eye on.
It’s a similar story 90 miles away at Bramall Lane, where Sheffield United appear set for a return to the Championship after picking up just two points from their first 15 matches. Ampadu has played in nine of those fixtures, splitting his time between defence and midfield in Chris Wilder’s 3-4-3, and has looked good enough most of the time without really showing the same drive and midfield authority he displays at his best for Wales. Again, Chelsea need to decide whether the minutes and learning experience in battling against relegation (foregone conclusion or not) is more valuable than moving him elsewhere. The risk there is that Ampadu ends up in a repeat of last season’s stay at Leipzig, where he barely played at all, and can’t afford for him to sit out most of the second half of the campaign, or to take 4-6 weeks to settle in and miss just as many matches with remaining minutes running out.
Michy’s last league start for Crystal Palace came on November 23rd, and it was just the fourth time he was included in the team from the start under Roy Hodgson this season. Even with Palace’s struggles in front of goal – take away a 5-1 win at West Brom and they’ve scored 14 goals in the other 14 matches – the Belgian can’t get on the pitch often enough and, while Chelsea may not see a long-term future for him, they won’t want to see a saleable asset continue to depreciate in value. A January sale might be considered if it can raise enough funds to put towards a deal to bring Declan Rice to Stamford Bridge, but another loan to recapture his best form to then find a better market in the summer might be the ticket. What chance a return to the Bundesliga?…
It really hasn’t been the best couple of years for Izzy. Statistically one of the most creative players in the Championship while at Luton in 2019-20, he just couldn’t avoid injury often enough to take the leap to the next level. So, he returned to England’s second tier with Sheffield Wednesday, despite the burden of a 12-point deduction (later reduced on appeal) to start the season, only for injuries to intervene once again. Then, when fit to return, he found Tony Pulis in the manager’s chair after Garry Monk was sacked in November.
Pulis has a poor track record with Chelsea loanees, notably with Lewis Baker at Middlesbrough, and is yet to afford Brown more than 15 minutes from the bench. That can’t continue to be the case.
– Juan Castillo hasn’t played a single minute for AZ Alkmaar, instead playing more minutes in the Dutch second tier for Jong AZ, just as he did for Jong Ajax last season. If he’s to kick on he surely needs to play at a higher level as he turns 21 in January.
– Ian Maatsen is showing up very impressively in all manner of underlying metrics at Charlton and has begun to demonstrate his capacity to influence the game in midfield as well as out on the left flank. If there’s interest from a Championship team, for example, Chelsea at least have to have a conversation about ensuring he continues to make progress.
– A story last week claimed that Chelsea had rejected a £3m bid from FC Rostov for Iké Ugbo, who has been in prolific form for Cercle Brugge this term. He’ll likely stay there and see what the summer brings but, at the same time, if the Blues receive an offer too good to refuse, a change of scenery could be in order.
– Jamal Blackman lost his starting job in goal for Rotherham in December despite starting 16 league matches up to that point. Rotherham’s fortunes have scarcely improved since; the 27 year-old has to view the next few months as a platform for him to leave Chelsea in the summer and make the best move possible.
– Charlie Brown and George McEachran were recalled from unsuccessful stays in Belgium and the Netherlands respectively before Christmas. Both should go back out and need to tackle senior football again in 2021.
– Danny Drinkwater and Baba Rahman have played on occasion for Andy Myers this season while not a part of Frank Lampard’s senior squad. They’ll go back into the market in January after October didn’t work out well for them. Dujon Sterling is likely to join them too after finally recovering from a myriad of absences that wiped out his 2020.
– Henry Lawrence, Marcel Lewis and George Nunn are all 19 and will start next season almost 20 years old. They’re well-versed in PL2 football at this point and could be considering whether or not to make their first loan moves. Tino Anjorin is also 19 (sharing the exact same birthday as Nunn) but, while there would surely be interest from a great many clubs, The Athletic report that he is unlikely to go on loan as he is on the cusp of a permanent breakthrough in the first team squad. He’s proven that he’s deserving of that chance.
– Tino Livramento, Lewis Bate, Levi Colwill and Myles Peart-Harris are all a year younger and could do with seeing out the season for the title-chasing Dev Squad but, as ever, don’t rule anything out.
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|