September has seen the 2020-21 season get in to full swing across Europe and with it has come the expansion of the latest Loan Army. Almost three dozen Chelsea players are out on loan now and, with the domestic transfer window in England for Football League clubs still open until mid-October, it’s set to grow further still.
Uwakwe finds early success
Every player wants to make an instant impression when they join a new club and so, with four goals and an assist in his first two appearances for Accrington Stanley, Tariq Uwakwe endeared himself to his new fans and team-mates in the best way possible. A debut hat-trick against a very young Leeds United Under-21 team in the EFL Trophy was a nice way to break the ice, but a spectacular goal off his weaker right foot on his league bow against Peterborough added emphasis to his sparkling start.
He’s been playing at left wing-back in a 3-5-2 under John Coleman at the Wham Stadium, a position he has some experience in but is far from how he has been used at Chelsea, but adding strings to his bow will certainly serve him well as he develops as a footballer.
Broja keeps impressing
What a year it’s been for Armando Broja. Twelve months ago he was just picking up steam as Chelsea’s leading scorer at Under-18 level off the back of a disappointing first year as a scholar in which he scored just two goals and scarcely got a look-in for the youth team. September saw him join Vitesse Arnhem on loan, make his senior debut for the Albanian national team, and then grab his first professional goal as Vitesse beat Sparta Rotterdam in their annual match honouring the Battle of Arnhem and the 1st Airborne Division.
He rounded out the month with half an hour from the bench away to Ajax, taking another big step forward in a career that is on a remarkably upwards trajectory.
New moves for old faces
A number of Loan Army veterans have found new homes for the 2020-21 season in a bid to either kick-start a stalling career or to continue their development in a more challenging environment. Lewis Baker has once again moved overseas, and will hope for better from his stay with Trabzonspor than he got out of his sojourn to Fortuna Dusseldorf this time a year ago. In moving to Turkey he has linked up with former Loan Manager Eddie Newton, who is now in charge at the Turkish SuperLig club, and at the age of 25 will be hoping to set forward a path to stability and success after a couple of frustrating years.
Michy Batshuayi has returned to Crystal Palace for the season, having spent the second half of the 18-19 season at Selhurst Park, meaning that Conor Gallagher’s proposed move to South London had to be reconsidered due to Premier League rules. Gallagher instead has joined West Bromwich Albion, making an impressive League Cup debut this past week, and scoring a Panenka-esque penalty in the shootout defeat to Brentford.
Davide Zappacosta has returned to Serie A for a year with Genoa, for whom he scored on his debut, while Luke McCormick will give League One a second try with Bristol Rovers after not quite hitting his stride at Shrewsbury last term, and Kenedy has gone back to La Liga but to Granada instead of Getafe. The switch from blue to red has made little difference to the Brazilian, who enjoyed a fruitful run in the Europa League last time around, and he’s already scored in the preliminary stages of this year’s edition.
Ethan Ampadu will have learned a lot at Leipzig last season, but didn’t play anywhere near as much as he’d have liked to, so has moved to Sheffield United to try to rectify that. Injuries and suspensions to John O’Connell and John Egan have given him an early chance to force his way into Chris Wilder’s plans and, despite some disappointing results for the Blades, the Welshman has looked the part so far.
– England Under-17 international goalkeeper Teddy Sharman-Lowe put pen to paper on a three-year with the academy earlier this month but, as part of the arrangement, will stay with Burton Albion for the next nine months. Having been involved with the Brewers’ first team in pre-season, he made his senior bow in the EFL Trophy before squaring off against Aston Villa in the League Cup a week later. There’s plenty more to come from him.
– Fellow custodians Jamal Blackman (Rotherham) and Jamie Cumming (Stevenage) have settled into starting roles at their new clubs and have generally impressed for teams that haven’t exactly been water-tight at the back.
– Izzy Brown has been in handy form for a Sheffield Wednesday team determined to fight back from starting the season with a twelve-point deduction due to FFP indiscretions, but namesake Charlie has had a tougher time of things in Belgium, failing to play a single minute for Union-SG in his return there after a fleeting visit in January and February pre-Covid.
– Trevoh Chalobah had a slow start to his Lorient career due to testing positive for Covid and then a minor injury, limiting him to just eight minutes of football so far in France. Fellow defender and Youth Cup winner Marc Guehi, however, has slotted back in at Swansea seamlessly and looks to be one of the very best defenders outside of the Premier League already.
– Iké Ugbo continues to earn regular playing time for Paul Clement at Cercle Brugge, scoring his second goal of the season from the penalty spot last weekend to celebrate his 22nd birthday, while Lucas Piazon and Danilo Pantic are keenly involved for Rio Ave in Portugal and Cukaricki in Serbia respectively.
Who else might join the Loan Army?
With the clock ticking into the final days of the European transfer window, moves are suddenly becoming urgent for any or all of Tiémoué Bakayoko, Danny Drinkwater, Marco van Ginkel, Matt Miazga, Victor Moses, Charly Musonda, Baba Rahman and Malang Sarr, while Jake Clarke-Salter (linked with Brest) and Juan Castillo might also be in a race against time.
Similarly, as Frank Lampard looks to trim the fat around his first-team squad, striking a permanent deal for certain players in a pandemic-affected market might not be an easy thing to do, so loans once again become the order of the day. Kepa, Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, Jorginho, Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Fikayo Tomori, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Emerson have all been mentioned in passing as potential departures and, while some of those are clearly more fanciful than others, watch this space.
For those looking for moves closer to home in the Championship or below, there is still time at hand, so while Dujon Sterling, George McEachran, Nathan Baxter, Henry Lawrence and any of the Development Squad players who could be tempted by a first taste of the senior game have a little while longer to consider their next steps.
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|