Since the arrival of Frank Lampard as Chelsea boss, along with the club currently under a transfer ban, the Blues don’t have as many players on loan as they have done in the past. However, there are still plenty of players who are contracted at Stamford Bridge who are plying their trade across clubs in Europe.
27 loanees to be exact, a significant decrease in recent seasons. Connor Gallagher is playing exceptionally well for Charlton Athletic and under Lee Bowyer, the 19-year-old has contributed with five goals in his first 16 matches for Bowyer’s side. Also, Tiemoue Bakayoko has been sent out on loan for the second consecutive season having been surplus to requirements for Lampard this season. Last year, the Frenchman powerhouse midfielder had a good season at AC Milan who seem to be missing their midfield enforcer as they continue to struggle in Serie A. This season Bakayoko is plying his trade at his old club Monaco, who Chelsea signed him from. He has been one of the French side’s most impressive performers along with former Chelsea playmaker Cesc Fabregas in midfield.
It remains to be seen whether or not Bakayoko has a future at Chelsea considering the amount of quality Lampard has in the centre of midfield. But, if he continues to perform well at Monaco, I’m sure Chelsea will be hoping that his loan move will made permanent next summer.
One other midfielder who is going under the radar at Serie A club Atalanta is 24-year-old Mario Pasalic. The Croatia international has been at the heart of the Atalanta’s success this season as they continue to perform well in Serie A after qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in the clubs history.
In their most recent group stage match he scored the equaliser against current Premier League champions Manchester City. He was a constant threat along with Alejandro Gómez and Josip Iličić as they managed to gain a valuable point in the Champions League.
His form has been phenomenal and has been previously dubbed the next Luke Modric for his national side. Currently in his second year on loan at the Italian club, he managed to score five goals and provided three assists which are impressive stats in the Italian first division. Having the ability to perform against top opposition like against City, he would be a worthy addition if Chelsea were to recall him from his loan spell. Given his versatility, Lampard would be able to use him especially in the middle of the pitch. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is still out injured and N’Golo Kante nearing full match fitness after recent injuries, Pasalic wouldn’t cost a penny if he was recalled.
If the 24-year-old continues to perform the way he is this season, Atalanta will surely exercise the option to pay the Croatian’s release clause. The only concern is if Chelsea were to let him go, it could prove to be a mistake considering the potential the player has.