The first Loan Report of 2021 brings about an update on an exciting January, plus a round-up of the winter transfer deadline day deals that did or didn’t happen.
• Jack Wakely joined Brighton until the end of the season in a move that will see him join the Seagulls’ Under-23 squad. The big defender had a successful trial there early in the new year, following a stint at Leicester, and is positioning himself for his next move with his Chelsea contract due to expire in the summer. Malik Mothersille will play out the second half of the season with Derby’s Under-18s to get more playing time, while a small smattering of European and MLS transfer windows are possibilities for alternative moves should any other youngster feel the need to avail themselves of such options.
• Despite the potential uncertainty of a change of first team manager, the likes of Billy Gilmour, Tino Anjorin and Lewis Bate have opted to stay at Chelsea rather than explore options elsewhere. Thomas Tuchel has already had a chance to work with the first two in training and there is optimism for the rest of the season with regards to their development.
• Juan Castillo made just one substitute appearance for AZ Alkmaar’s first team between September and December, leading to another change of scenery, but his third go-around on the Dutch loan circuit seems to have hit the sweet spot. He has gone straight into ADO Den Haag’s first team at left-back, playing regular minutes, and hoping to kick-start a career that was in danger of stagnating.
• Lucas Piazon departed on a permanent basis for SC Braga, bringing an end to an 18-month loan at Rio Ave and a decade-long affiliation with Chelsea. He made one Premier League appearance and three total outings while also spending time on loan with Malaga, Vitesse, Eintracht Frankfurt, Reading, Fulham and Chievo.
• Danny Drinkwater joined Kasimpasa in Turkey for the rest of the season after featuring for the Development Squad in the first half of the current campaign. He joins a club Chelsea have previously done business with in the past, where Kenneth Omeruo played in 15-16 and 17-18.
Tomori heads to Italy
After an immensely frustrating and somewhat surprising 2020 in which he scarcely played at all, Fikayo Tomori jetted off to Italy last week to join AC Milan on loan. The Rossoneri have a €25m + €5m option to buy, an agreement that has generated split opinion on whether or not they have the intention or even means to trigger it in the late spring, but after being pressed into a Coppa Italia Quarter Final debut against Inter and impressing enough to then start in Serie A away to Bologna four days later, he’s made a promising start.
Ampadu bounces back
Back in December, which seems an eternity ago now, there was more than a little concern about how Ethan Ampadu’s stay at Sheffield United was going. The Blades were on a torrid run at the foot of the Premier League and, whether in defence or midfield, the Wales international was struggling to impose himself and make the sort of progress he so sorely needed to at the time.
Fast forward a month and things look much, much better. A starring role in an upset win away to Manchester United was the highlight of a strong month in which he settled into a role on the left of Chris Wilder’s back three, and was able to bring himself along to remind everyone what he’s all about. Sheffield United remain some 13 points adrift of safety, leaving a lot to do, but if he can build on a good start to 2021, his options come the end of the season will be all the better.
Ethan Ampadu had a challenging first few months with Sheffield Unitef that reached a nadir at Crystal Palave earlier this month.
Now, the Chelsea loanee is winning over his critics. #twitterblades #CFC https://t.co/ltHTexNdtx
— Richard Sutcliffe (@RSooty73) January 30, 2021
Guehi continues to shine
Marc Guehi is, without much of an argument, the best young centre back in England not playing in the Premier League. He might even be the best regardless of age, such is the quality he brings to the pitch for Swansea City week in and week out. The Swans have an incredible defensive structure that doesn’t yield high-quality chances to pretty much anyone, but Guehi himself is an integral part of that setup, and has been involved in 12 of the club’s 14 clean sheets this term.
An immediate return to Chelsea for potential involvement in the first team might be a step too far for the summer, especially with Thomas Tuchel replacing Frank Lampard and with several issues to navigate in the centre of defence, but it’s clear that he’s no longer truly stretched by playing Championship football and will be due a high-level opportunity for 2021-22.
#Swans defensive actions dashboard vs #QPR
We see a large left-sided area covered by the excellent #ChelseaFC loanee Marc Guehi.
Fulton covered more right side.
Lowe offered far more further forward in QPR's half. pic.twitter.com/mtvvVPfdN5
— Swans Analytics (@SwansAnalytics) January 9, 2021
Van Ginkel returns
After 32 months on the sidelines injured, Marco van Ginkel made a long-awaited return to playing for PSV on January 13th. The two minutes he played at the end of a home defeat to AZ will have been among the sweetest of his entire career.
Goals, Goals, Goals!
There were plenty of goals scored in January, from England to Belgium to Spain and the Netherlands. Enjoy some of the best!
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|