Chelsea’s notorious loan army. 41 players, between the ages of 18 and 37, playing across 10 different countries in 16 different leagues.
The Blues have always come under scrutiny in the media for ‘stockpiling’ players, and for good reason in recent years. But now, with an impending 12 month transfer embargo, it seems that the plethora of players Chelsea have accumulated over the years may just come in handy.
Out of the 41 players away from the club, only a select few have really pushed the boundaries on their development and given enough reason for the Chelsea hierarchy to pay attention to them. Many have had good seasons but need another year to develop, and some have looked far from the standard required to earn a regular starting spot at Stamford Bridge.
In this article, we will go through and evaluate all 41 of Chelsea’s players out on loan and decide, if the transfer ban starts now, whether it would be better to keep them in the squad, give them another season on loan, or just outright sell them this summer.
GK – Eduardo – VitesseEmbed from Getty Images
This one is an easy one. The 37-year-old is our oldest player, on loan or at the club, and was only brought in back in 2016 to be third-choice keeper behind Thibaut Courtois and Asmir Begovic.
Definitely a sell. We have Rob Green now anyway…
GK – Nathan Baxter – Yeovil TownEmbed from Getty Images
Still only 20 years old, and a Chelsea player since he was 7, Nathan Baxter is definitely a player in need of more experience in senior football.
He has had a decent first year in professional senior football, getting 10 clean sheets in 34 appearances for Yeovil Town this season, but he is still far from Premier League quality.
GK – Bradley Collins – Burton AlbionEmbed from Getty Images
Another young goalkeeper who has been at Chelsea since he was just a boy, Bradley Collins has had a good season out on loan at Burton Albion in League One. He has conceded just 32 goals in 31 starts for the Brewers, but this is not enough to warrant a place in Chelsea’s first team.
GK – Jared Thompson – Warrenpoint TownEmbed from Getty Images
On loan in the Northern Irish Premier League. Definitely another player in need of a few years’ worth of development.
GK – Karlo Ziger – Sutton UnitedEmbed from Getty Images
At just 18 years old, Ziger is getting his first taste of senior football in the National League. At least a few years off of Premier League quality.
LB – Jay Dasilva – Bristol CityEmbed from Getty Images
Dasilva has been exceptional for Bristol City this season, which is making the Robins consider activating their ridiculously small pre-agreed fee for the player at the end of his loan.
If we can manoeuvre around that clause, I would try and get him a loan at a low-level Prem side. If not, maybe sell Marcos Alonso and have Dasilva as backup to Emerson? I’m just not sure if he is ready yet.
LB – Abdul Baba Rahman – ReimsEmbed from Getty Images
I genuinely forgot we still had this guy. He’s had a few disappointing loans at FC Schalke in previous years and has had just as disappointing a spell at Reims this season, making just 10 league appearances.
CB – Jake Clarke-Salter – VitesseEmbed from Getty Images
This season has been an average one for the promising centre-half, but he has made 28 appearances for our Dutch affiliate this season. This will hold him in good stead going forward, but he still needs match experience at Premier League or Championship level.
CB – Josh Grant – Yeovil TownEmbed from Getty Images
Still only 20 years old, and has only made eight League 2 appearances this season, Grant needs a lot more senior football.
CB – Michael Hector – Sheffield WednesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Hector has had a good season on loan at the south-Yorkshire club, but at 26 years old, he doesn’t have much more developing to do. If he can’t get in the team this summer, what with other centre-backs like Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori returning, it hardly makes sense to send him out on another loan.
CB – Tomas Kalas – Bristol CityEmbed from Getty Images
Another player who has had a decent season but is getting too old now to keep on loaning him back out. Get some money for him while we still can.
CB – Kenneth Omeruo – LeganesEmbed from Getty Images
This is a tough one for me. A similar age to Kalas and Hector, but he has been superb this season. He has helped Leganes to comfortably survive relegation, and they and a number of other Spanish clubs are looking to get his signature permanently.
He isn’t quite up to Chelsea standards, but I could definitely see him fitting in at a Watford, a Crystal Palace or a Norwich on loan.
LOAN OR SELL
CB – Matt Miazga – ReadingEmbed from Getty Images
For me, this one is a sell. He has been good for Reading this year, and they will probably offer a decent sum of money to sign him permanently. Many may say another loan will do him well, but his last loan to Nantes was a disaster. The league was too much for him and they terminated the loan early. He is Championship-quality at best.
CB – Kurt Zouma – EvertonEmbed from Getty Images
Finally! The first keep. He has been outstanding at Everton this season, so much so that he benched £30 million signing Yerry Mina. I was confused as to why we loaned him out this year, but it has paid off massively. He’s even back in the France team.
CB/DM – Trevoh Chalobah – Ipswich TownEmbed from Getty Images
Despite them getting relegated, Chalobah has had an impressive start to his senior career at Ipswich Town. To play 43 Championship games in your first season away from youth football is remarkable.
CB – Fikayo Tomori – Derby CountyEmbed from Getty Images
This is another tough one. He’s had an exceptional season for Derby under the guidance of Super Frank, winning their Player of the Year, and if Derby go up this season I would love to see him stay with Lampard for another season.
If Derby remain in the Championship, there is a decision to be made. If he stays at Chelsea, how much playing time will he be given? If not a lot, then send him to a lower Premier League team. Match experience is imperative to a player’s development.
LOAN OR KEEP
RB – Dujon Sterling – Coventry CityEmbed from Getty Images
Wow, do we have a lot of good right-backs. Sterling has been one of the standout players in the Coventry team this season, and is definitely showing signs that he is ready for the next step up. A loan in the Championship beckons for this young lad.
RB – Reece James – Wigan AthleticEmbed from Getty Images
What. A. Player.
James was one of the best players in the Championship this season, as well as winning Player of the Year, Player’s Player of the Year and Goal of the Season at Wigan Athletic. Brilliant going forward and defensively, and has shown the versatility to play full-back or anywhere in midfield. Offers what Azpilicueta can’t.
RB – Ola Aina – TorinoEmbed from Getty Images
Another right-back we are lucky to have. He’s been brilliant for Torino this season, and they are another club who are trying to snap him up on a small fee. If it was up to me, I’d send him back to Torino for one more season, not because he is not ready for Chelsea, but because Reece James has taken his spot.
RB – Fankaty Dabo – Sparta RotterdamEmbed from Getty Images
Not good enough to stay at Vitesse for another season, Dabo is spending his second season in Holland at Sparta Rotterdam in the second division. That says it all.
CM – Lewis Baker – Reading
Baker, like Miazga, has had a good season at Reading but isn’t really showing Premier League quality. Another loan might be good for him, but he’s 24 now so a permanent move is probably the best thing for his career.
DM – Victorien Angban – MetzEmbed from Getty Images
On loan at Metz in the French Ligue 2 should definitely be his last. Not good enough. Seems a permanent deal has already been done.
LM – Kenedy – Newcastle UnitedEmbed from Getty Images
It was revealed earlier this week that Rafa Benitez has been disappointed with Kenedy this season and will not be paying the £30million fee Chelsea are supposedly asking for him. I’d lower the asking price and move him on.
AM – Nathan – Atletico MineiroEmbed from Getty Images
Good but not good enough. On loan in Brazil to try and recapture his best after a series of failed loans. Should have been sold years ago.
AM – Josimar Quintero – Lleida EsportiuEmbed from Getty Images
Previously of Barcelona, Quintero has been in and out of loan moves since 2016. He is now playing in the Spanish third division.
AM – Danilo Pantic – Partizan BelgradeEmbed from Getty Images
Pantic has had a good season in Serbia, but it will not be good enough to be considered for a Championship loan, let alone staying at Chelsea next season.
DM – Tiemoue Bakayoko – AC MilanEmbed from Getty Images
In typical Bakayoko style, the Frenchman has had a roller-coaster of a year in Milan.
There are times where we have heard of how much Gattuso loves him and how great he has been, but there have also been times where he have heard about just how awful he is. The most recent reports suggest that the Rossoneri will not be activating their option to buy, which surely means he will be back at the Bridge this summer.
For me, Bakayoko may be useful as midfield backup but I don’t think he will be any better than he was last time. He does not suit Sarri-ball, at all, and does not have the energy and work-rate that Kante has to play that box-to-box role. And he definitely cannot play the Jorginho role.
CM – Mario Pasalic – AtalantaEmbed from Getty Images
Pasalic has had a successful year on loan in the Serie A this season, helping Atalanta to their first Coppa Italia final since 1996.
Nonetheless, I don’t think he is quite up to the standard of our other young players and should be sold. He should attract a pretty decent fee for him, too.
AM – Jacob Maddox – Cheltenham TownEmbed from Getty Images
After finishing his first year in senior football, Maddox should be proud of himself. He is still young, so another year or so on loan will be great for him. League 1 might be perfect for him.
AM – Kasey Palmer – Bristol CityEmbed from Getty Images
A great year for Palmer in Bristol; he has attracted the attention of a lot of Championship and low-level Premier League sides, including newly promoted Norwich.
I’d sell him, just because I rate other players we have more, and we would get good offers for him this summer.
AM – Mason Mount – Derby
Despite Derby being on the verge of promotion to the Premier League, and Lampard claiming how much he would love to see him stay at Derby for another year, I think Mount has to stay at the Bridge next year.
He has been superb in the Championship in an injury-riddled season, and has shown that he has what it takes to play in the Premier League. He would make excellent backup for Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Sorry Frank!
AM – Izzy Brown – Leeds UnitedEmbed from Getty Images
Izzy Brown has had an unlucky season. He has been in and out of injuries, and in and out of Leeds’ under-23s side as a result. One more injury-free year might just get the best out of him.
AM – Charly Musonda – VitesseEmbed from Getty Images
Normally I would say sell here, but Musonda has been injured all season. He has just returned and should be given one more year to prove himself.
One of my favourite youngsters we had a few years ago, and played really well against Nottingham Forest back in 2017.
RM – Victor Moses – FenerbahçeEmbed from Getty Images
Now at 28 years of age, Victor Moses is not the promising young player we used to know. He’s had disappointing year in Turkey, with Fenerbahçe finishing 11th in the league. What Conte done with him was a miracle, but I don’t see the same happening again. He just doesn’t suit our style of play anymore.
ST – Michy Batshuayi – Crystal PalaceEmbed from Getty Images
This, I think, is the toughest decision. Do we keep Batshuayi or Tammy Abraham?
Batshuayi hasn’t exactly set the world alight this year at Palace, nor did he at Valencia in the first half of this season. But, he has more experience in top-flight football than Tammy has, and he played his best football at Borussia Dortmund, playing alongside our new boy Christian Pulisic.
I honestly can’t decide. My brain says Batshuayi but my heart says Tammy Abraham.
Based on form alone, I am gonna say Tammy Abraham. Sorry Michy.
ST – Tammy Abraham – Aston VillaEmbed from Getty Images
For reasons stated above, I would keep Tammy next season. 26 league goals and the winning penalty to send Villa to the play-off final, he has been instrumental to their success this season.
Still young, English, and home-grown, but his torrid time at Swansea City two years ago must be taken into account. I think it’s worth the risk though.
ST – Alvaro Morata – Atletico MadridEmbed from Getty Images
Sell. Sell. Sell. Never the right fit for Chelsea, has an attitude problem, and has just been told by his boyhood club that he is not wanted permanently. One of the worst players I have seen in a blue shirt.
Sell him for whatever we can. I’d take £15 million.