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Since we seem to make a new thread every week for loan reports, I thought we should have one pinned and just post the articles in it every week.

The Loan Report: November 5-11

It was an unusual week on the loan front, as none of Chelsea’s numerous youngsters playing elsewhere this season managed to find the scoresheet; just the second time this season that that has happened.

So, in search of the focus of our attentions this week, we turn to Josh McEachran. The spotlight has been on the young midfielder more than usual in the last seven days, beginning with a 90 minute outing in a goalless draw away to Nottingham Forest before sitting down for a feature interview in the Daily Mail. He then took to the pitch in front of live television cameras on Friday night.

Middlesbrough continued their promotion-hunting form with another win (3-1 over Sheffield Wednesday) which took them temporarily top of the Championship. Josh caught the eye for a number of reasons, not least a mazy, marauding run where he beat five opponents before just failing to find the finish.

It was an interesting game from the England Under-21 international, who is clearly being handed more responsibility by manager Tony Mowbray, and he appears to be thriving with it. Having spend much of the season out wide in midfield, he has most recently lined up alongside Grant Leadbitter in the centre of midfield, and sets the tone and tempo for much of what Boro do.

When they go forward, he takes on the defensive role, positioning himself to clean up loose balls or drop deeper if possession is conceded. His match fitness is back to peak levels and he’s having a positive impact for his team, which is everything that can be asked for right now.

In other English league action, Romelu Lukaku was a substitute for West Bromwich Albion last Monday night in a win over Southampton but started away to Wigan on Saturday as Steve Clarke’s team kept up their superb form with a 2-1 win.

Lukaku flattered to deceive for much of his time on the pitch, occasionally looking threatening with shots and crosses – notably drawing a save from Ali Al-Habsi with a well-hit strike – but proved inconsistent in many other areas and was eventually substituted. It’s for this very reason he’s been loaned out, and rounding out each and every performance into a better body of work is the aim for the campaign.

Nathaniel Chalobah had a solid outing for Watford in a 0-0 draw at home to Millwall on Tuesday night, accruing another yellow card along the way, before taking a rest at the weekend as Gianfranco Zola rotated his squad heavily for the trip to Leeds. The Hornets won 6-1.

Whilst Sam Hutchinson remains sidelined through injury, Nottingham Forest did announce this week that they will be retaining his services for the season, claiming that “his return to full fitness will be a matter of weeks rather than months.” Given the ease with which Leicester opened them up down the right-back’s side on Saturday, manager Sean O’Driscoll will be hoping that is sooner rather than later.

Ben Gordon continues to play for Birmingham’s Under-21 team after injury, but appears to have little chance of playing for Lee Clark’s first team. Come January, he will surely be looking for a new club.

Archange Nkumu remains firmly on backup duty at League One’s Colchester United, whilst Sam Walker returned to the bench this week for Bristol Rovers, who recorded a pair of 3-2 scorelines (one win and one defeat). Not even the fact that his replacement Neil Etheridge dropped one over his own line against Chesterfield will help him return to the team, apparently.

Moving on to the Netherlands, it was a big weekend for Vitesse, as Tomas Kalas, Patrick van Aanholt and Gael Kakuta all started at home to table-topping FC Twente. The game itself ended up a disappointing 0-0 draw, which is still good news for defenders Van Aanholt and especially Kalas, who celebrated a call-up to the full Czech Republic squad this week.

Amin Affane was entrusted with a high-profile start for Roda away to Feyenoord but Ruud Brood’s side returned home on the wrong side of a 5-2 hiding. However, it was a strong performance from Affane individually, as he provided the assists for both Roda goals fom set pieces.

Kenneth Omeruo came back into the fold for ADO Den Haag after being a sub last week and played 90 minutes in a 2-2 draw with AZ Alkmaar.

In Germany, Kevin De Bruyne remains an every-game starter for Werder Bremen, but the team’s overall form has taken a hit recently and they went down 2-1 away to Schalke on Saturday afternoon.

SchaWer31 par Schalke 2-1 Bremen

Jeffrey Bruma began Hamburg’s trip to Freiburg on the bench, relegated to reserve duty behind Paul Scharner, who was chosen to replace the ill Michael Mancienne in defence, but he got his chance when Scharner was sent off in the first half and played well to help keep a clean sheet in another goalless draw this week.

In Spain, Thibaut Courtois took his usual Europa League break in midweek but came back for Sunday’s hosting of Getafe and had relatively little to do during their 2-0 victory.

Ulises Dávila played 90 minutes for Sabadell in a 1-0 win over Huesca and generally caused havoc all match, crowning his performance by winning the penalty which provided the only goal and kept Sabadell in the upper reaches of the table.

Jhon Pírez still isn’t playing for Leganés, but he did join his team-mates in a meet and greet for local children this week. A more productive week than usual…

Finally, in Portugal, Vitória lost 3-1 at home to Nacional with neither Milan Lalkovic nor Matej Delac involved. Delac was the backup goalkeeper whilst Lalkovic was the 19th man and didn’t make the matchday squad.


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The Loan Report: November 26 – December 2

An impressive season of productivity from Chelsea’s loanees continued this week with a sixth goal of the campaign for Romelu Lukaku.

There was a double helping of domestic action in England this week and Lukaku began it with a bang, scoring for West Brom in a surprise defeat away to Swansea City. His goal proved to be little more than a consolation, but he took it well enough, reacting quickly to a loose ball to volley home on his right foot.

He was back on the bench for the weekend defeat to Stoke, playing 25 minutes as a second-half substitute, but despite his general lack of overall starts, Lukaku has one of the best goals-to-minutes-played ratios in the top flight so far this season.

Josh McEachran continues to play in central midfield for Middlesbrough but had an up and down week; first being on the winning side against Huddersfield on Tuesday (playing 90 minutes) before making a mistake to cost Boro a point in a 3-2 defeat at Birmingham City on Friday night.

It wasn’t the worst of mistakes as Birmingham still had a lot to do, but he’ll be disappointed with the looseness of his pass for sure.

Ben Gordon didn’t line up against his club colleague for the hosts though, and is instead still featuring for the club’s Under-21 team. His playing time this week came in the Birmingham Senior Cup against a club called Continental Star. He played 90 minutes in what will be the low point of his loan spells to date, playing against a team of local part time footballers.

Nathaniel Chalobah and Watford continue to fly up the Championship standings though, recording a pair of 4-1 wins this week against Sheffield Wednesday (away) and Barnsley (home). He was afforded a well-earned rest in the last twenty minutes of the weekend fixture but is a big reason behind the Hornets’ rise into the playoff places.

Sam Hutchinson remains sidelined for Nottingham Forest but at least appears to be on course for a return around the new year.

It was FA Cup weekend in the lower leagues, and whilst Conor Clifford (illness) and Patrick Bamford (ankle) were absent from Crawley Town and Milton Keynes Dons’ victories, Todd Kane played at right-back for Preston North End and saw 90 minutes in a 2-0 win over Gillingham. All three will still be at their temporary clubs for third round weekend in early January and all have been given permission to play by Chelsea.

With Bristol Rovers out of the FA Cup, Sam Walker had league action away to Wycombe and was on the losing side as the Pirates lost 2-0 at Adams Park.

Moving overseas, Kevin De Bruyne was back to something near his most productive best for Werder Bremen, picking up a pair of assists in a 4-1 win at Hoffenheim. The first came from a floated free kick into the box from distance which Marko Arnautovic headed home from twelve yards, and the second was a perfect slide-rule pass at the end of a very slick spell of play as Bremen won the ball back high up the pitch and ruthlessly cut the hosts apart.

Jeffrey Bruma was back in the Hamburg starting eleven against Wolfsburg and lined up in an unfamiliar left-back position due to injury and suspension. He did well, playing the entirety of the 1-1 draw, and will hopefully have caught the eye of manager Thorsten Fink sufficiently to return to the starting lineup on a more regular basis.

In the Netherlands, Vitesse took on Roda which meant Patrick Van Aanholt, Tomas Kalas and Gael Kakuta lined up against their Chelsea team-mate Amin Affane. All four started the game and all generally did well as Vitesse won 3-0 to continue their title challenge. Affane was the only one substituted after giving a brave and battling performance for struggling Roda, but it was a day all about the home team.

Van Aanholt had a strong game at both ends of the pitch, whilst Kalas procided an assist for yet another Wilfried Bony goal. Kakuta, however, was considered to be the best player on the pitch by most home fans for an all-action display in which he proved a considerable presence in both attacking and defensive capacities.

Vitesse aren’t typically considered to be amongst the Dutch powerhouses but in a season where any one from five or six teams have a realistic shot at the title, they have been simply superb in the first half of the season and have the squad to be able to stay in the picture for the rest of the campaign.

Kenneth Omeruo and ADO Den Haag went down 2-0 away to FC Twente with the Nigerian getting 90 minutes against one of the best teams in the league.

In Belgium, Zulte-Waregem’s recent results have been anything but enthralling, but the points continue to come in and keep them second in the league.

Thorgan Hazard played the last thirteen minutes of their goalless draw with Beerschot this weekend as a substitute after being rested for a midweek cup win over Charleroi, and will be hoping to re-find the form which propelled him to wider attention earlier this season. However, it’s important to remember that this is his first full season in top division football and there will be the usual fluctuations in performance that come with that.

In Spain, it was derby day for Thibaut Courtois as Atlético headed to the Berbabeu, but unfortunately for the Belgian number one, Los Colchoneros returned home pointless after losing 2-0. There was quite frankly nothing he could do about Cristiano Ronaldo’s sensational free kick which helped secure victory for Jose Mourinho’s side.

Ulises Dávila started for in-form Sabadell against Numancia but the Harlequistas suffered a first defeat in five league games. The Mexican started but was unable to have the same sort of impact he’s had in recent weeks.

Jhon Pírez, as usual, didn’t play for Leganés.

Finally, in Portugal, it was Cup weekend but neither Milan Lalkovic nor Matej Delac started for Vitória Guimarães away to Maritimo, but Lalkovic came on during extra time and took what could have been the clinching penalty during the eventual shootout, but failed to convert. Fortunately, Guimarães prevailed and go into the last eight of the competition.


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The Loan Report: December 10-16

Nathaniel Chalobah celebrated his 18th birthday this past week and did so in style as he grabbed his second goal of the season for Watford. He headlines the latest edition of the Loan Report.

The England Under-21 international hasn’t been in the best of form lately with some shaky and sloppy performances, but it was always prudent to remember his tender age and overall excellence throughout the season.

He offered a timely reminder of his capabilities away to Burnley on Saturday with a stylish and well taken strike to open the scoring for Gianfranco Zola’s Hornets. A cross was only cleared to the edge of the box, where the Chelsea man was waiting to steer a low volley back into the back of the net.

A booking followed two minutes later for kicking the ball away – something he’s previously been carded for this season – and unfortunately he was forced out of action at half time with a knock picked up shortly after Burnley equalised.

Elsewhere, Tomas Kalas also had a storming weekend for Vitesse in the Eredivisie as he provided a pair of assists from right-back in a 2-2 draw with RKC Waalwijk.

The Czech international planted two absolutely beautiful crosses onto the capable heads of Wilfried Bony and Simon Cziommer, who duly converted. It was the latest in a series of impressive performances from Kalas and at this stage, he really isn’t being challenged by the level of competition in the Netherlands and may look to take the next step in January, having been linked to a Bundesliga move earlier in the season.

Patrick van Aanholt continues to come along well at left-back and was in fine form against RKC himself, almost grabbing himself a second-half goal. Gael Kakuta made it three Chelsea starters for the Gelderlanders but after being so impressive in recent weeks, he had a quieter time of it and was substituted during the second half.

Amin Affane saw a handful of minutes off the bench in Roda’s goalless draw with NAC Breda, whilst Kenneth Omeruo and ADO Den Haag battled bravely for 90 minutes but lost out by the odd goal in five away to Feyenoord in the closing moments.

Romelu Lukaku got fifteen minutes off the bench for West Brom in a dull 0-0 draw at home to West Ham United.

Josh McEachran and Middlesbrough continue to roll towards their aims of promotion back to the Premier League as they beat Wolves 2-0 at the weekend. McEachran played the full 90 minutes having been afforded a midweek rest as Boro exited the Capital One Cup in the Quarter Final stage away to Swansea City.

Sam Hutchinson remains sidelined through injury and Ben Gordon remains sidelined through choice at Birmingham City. He didn’t even get an Under-21 game under his belt this week as their trip to Leeds United fell foul of the weather.

Patrick Bamford has still not been able to return to full training after a hamstring injury and so missed MK Dons’ win over Hartlepool United, whilst Conor Clifford (unused sub) and Todd Kane (not selected) were also out of action in League One weekend action. Archange Nkumu has also left Colchester United and returned to Chelsea ahead of schedule.

Sam Walker continued in goal for lowly Bristol Rovers in League Two and watched his team’s wretched defence help gift York City four first-half goals in a defeat which leaves the club in the relegation zone and cost manager Mark McGhee his job.

After playing twice in two days last weekend, Jeffrey Bruma was back on the bench for the duration of Hamburg’s 3-0 loss away to Bayer Leverkusen this weekend. With midfield options slowly coming back to fitness, Dennis Aogo was able to return to left-back, meaning Thorsten Fink had no room for Bruma or no need to use him in an emergency situation. He is another contender to shift clubs next month, with widespread interest from Holland reported last week.

Kevin De Bruyne has had no such problems in finding playing time at Werder Bremen and took his usual place against Nurnberg on Sunday afternoon. He provided his fifth assist of the season as his shot deflected in off striker Nils Petersen for a very, very late equaliser.

Thibaut Courtois has also never lacked action at Atlético Madrid but faced his biggest test of the season so far as Diego Simeone’s team headed to the Nou Camp to take on Barcelona. Regardless of his world-class potential, such a fixture is rarely likely to be kind to any goalkeeper and four excellent finishes from Barcelona ensured that the Belgian ended on the losing side for just the second time this season.

In La Segunda, Ulises Dávila started yet again for the season’s surprise package Sabadell and played his part in a 1-0 win away to Racing Santander. The Mexican played 90 minutes again and is looking increasingly comfortable in European football, something Vitesse noted was a big reason for his lack of first-team minutes last season.

It’s a shame the same can’t be said for Jhon Pírez. You know the drill by now…

The same fate continues to befall Matej Delac, who is serving as backup goalkeeper for a third consecutive season and must wonder why he ever agreed to leave Inter Zapresic a few years ago. He watched on alongside Milan Lalkovic as Vitória Guimaraes lost 2-1 away to Pacos de Ferreira, and again, both could do with a change of scenery sooner rather than later.

Our final stop is Belgium, where Thorgan Hazard helped Zulte-Waregem to a 3-2 win over Genk in what must now be classed as a title challenge campaign. The creative midfielder played half an hour in the midweek cup fixture played between the same two teams – won 5-0 by Genk – but laid on a pass for Franck Berrier to lash in from the edge of the box to help Essevee on their way to three more league points on Saturday, cementing them in second place in the Jupiler League.The Loan Report: December 10-16

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The Loan Report: December 17-23
Romelu Lukaku’s sixth goal of the season continued an impressive personal campaign and highlights the final Loan Report before Christmas.
With many leagues now entering a winter break, it’s also the most comprehensive report for a while, with some teams not returning to action until the end of January.
We begin with the big Belgian forward at West Brom, who maintained his fine record when starting for Steve Clarke’s side with a late winner against Norwich City; a goal which capped a fine performance.
With the transfer window mere days away, speculation as to whether he is likely to return to his parent club is picking up, but speaking after the game both manager and player indicated that it is unlikely to happen and that Lukaku will remain a Baggie for the duration of 2012-13.
In The Championship, Nathaniel Chalobah continued his return to good form with a fine outing for Watford in a 2-0 win at home to Nottingham Forest, a win which puts the Hornets back in the playoff places.
The England Under-21 international ran the show in the midfield accordingly to many reports from Vicarage Road and with his deal due to expire in just under a fortnight, news on a potential extention may not be far away.
Sam Hutchinson wasn’t fit to line up opposite his Chelsea team-mate, but he has this week returned to training and appears on track for a return in the new year.
Josh McEachran and Middlesbrough lost 2-1 at Capital One Cup Quarter Finalists Leeds United, and Josh too has been linked with a return to Stamford Bridge ahead of schedule, with numbers in the centre of midfield depleted. Yet like Lukaku, he has spoken of his desire to stay and fight for promotion in the North-East, and Eddie Newton – now in a loanee liaison role – has promised Boro that the Blues do not intend to recall him. Manager Tony Mowbray, meanwhile, is looking for his young star to push on between now and April.
“My talks with Josh – because he is only a tender age, he’s only 19 – have been about pushing on in the second half of the season,”
“I’ve said to him if he’s going to play for Chelsea’s first team and try to win European Cups, he has to have a bigger impact on our team in the Champion ship and I’m sure he can, as I’ve seen him do some amazing stuff in training.
“I think he can have that extra ingredient that can make a difference in games. We’ve seen it in flashes where he can drift past three or four people.
“So I think it’s almost time for him to push on and influence the game more and he understands that.
“He’s settled in great and has been very integral of what we’ve achieved so far. He didn’t come to Middlesbrough to be a superstar.
“He came here to be a part of our team and he’s doing the job we’ve been asking him to – whether that’s sitting next to Grant Leadbitter and passing the ball to feed the strikers or the wide players, which he’s been doing very, very well.
“Maybe now we can get him to pick the ball up and start travelling with it and going past people, slipping the centre forward in to score. I think he can add that to his game because I’ve seen it in training.”
(Source: Scott Wilson, Northern Echo)
Ben Gordon still can’t find a way into the Birmingham City squad – despite Lee Clark including eight teenagers amongst his eighteen this weekend – and will almost certainly return to Cobham as soon as the window opens.
In League One, injury continues to sideline Patrick Bamford’s MK Dons career, whilst Todd Kane was absent from both of Preston’s fixtures this week. He was initially left out of the matchday squad on both occasions but came onto the bench for Saturday’s clash with Coventry after someone else suffered an injury during the warm-up.
Nonetheless, his stay at Deepdale hasn’t exactly gone to plan, and neither has Conor Clifford’s at Crawley Town. The Irishman is still yet to debut for the Reds and, like Kane, may not stay beyond the original cutoff date in mid-January.
Sam Walker has a new manager in John Ward at Bristol Rovers but was unable to impress his new boss this weekend as their fixture was one of many to fall foul of the weather in England.
In Spain, Thibaut Courtois kept a league-highest 18th clean sheet of the 2012 calendar year for Atlético Madrid in a 1-0 win over Celta Vigo which ensures Diego Simeone’s team go into the winter break in second place.
Down in La Segunda, Ulises Dávila and Sabadell lost 1-0 at home to Lugo, a result which leaves the Catalan club in a respectable 9th place at the midway point. Dávila has grown into a key contributor for the Harlequins and will be central to their hopes of a surprise promotion challenge as the season draws onwards.
There was still no sign of Jhon Pírez playing for Leganés this week though. Perhaps if he had have appeared, the Mayans would have been right…
In the Netherlands, Vitesse had a comfortable midweek cup outing, beating ADO ’20 10-1 with Tomas
Kalas, Patrick van Aanholt and Gael Kakuta all starting. Kakuta picked up one assist and was heavily involved in another goal before being subbed short of the hour mark at 6-0, whilst defenders Kalas and Van Aanholt completed the full 90 minutes.
However, they came back to earth on Saturday with a 2-1 loss away to Heerenveen which leaves them fourth and five points off leaders PSV at the winter interval. Again, all three Chelsea loanees played from the start and Kakuta was withdrawn a quarter of an hour from time after another lively attacking performance.
The trio promise to be front and centre for the Gelderlanders after Christmas but with Kalas being linked to a Bundesliga move earlier this season, they may have to do without his services. However, Jeffrey Bruma has been cited as a potential new arrival for Fred Rutten, and it would be a move that would make much sense, for the centre-back has struggled to feature for Hamburg this season.
The Bundesliga has already entered hibernation for the winter so neither he nor Kevin De Bruyne were in action this weekend. However, both Amin Affane and Kenneth Omeruo featured for Roda and ADO Den Haag respectively in the Netherlands, with Affane playing 69 minutes in a 4-2 win over local rivals VVV Venlo and Omeruo – who was named in the provisional Nigerian squad for the African Cup of Nations this week – getting 90 minutes and a clean sheet in a 2-0 win over NEC Nijmegen.
There was also no action for Milan Lalkovic and Matej Delac in Portugal with Liga action over until January 5th. News emerged this week that Vitória Guimaraes forward Toscano may be moving on, which would potentially open the door for Lalkovic to play a whole lot more than he has done so far. He’s looked useful as an impact substitute but will be seeking more minutes in 2013, either in Portugal or elsewhere.
Finally, in Belgium, Thorgan Hazard played well in a 1-1 draw away to Bergen, and he has been central to a superb season which will see them go into 2013 in a Champions League qualifying spot.
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The Loan Report: January 7-13
Romelu Lukaku has headlined many a Loan Report so far this season, but this week he’s way out on his own as the outstanding performer of the last seven days.
The big Belgian forward was almost unplayable this weekend as West Brom travelled to Reading, and although the hosts pulled off a miraculous turnaround in the final ten minutes to take a 3-2 victory, it was all about Lukaku.
He recorded his first multi-goal game in English football, scoring in both halves as well as striking the woodwork twice and seeing another effort disallowed. He was a constant menace and can genuinely feel hard done by not to have scored at least two more goals.
His first goal came after a fine piece of quick interplay with James Morrison, exchanging passes before receiving the decisive cross and sweeping home from close range. He then saw one rightly chalked off for offside, hit the post with a header and had a sweetly-struck shot cannon back off the crossbar.
The second of his strikes came after he picked up the ball in space, drove towards the edge of the area and unleashed a fierce drive which beat the goalkeeper at his near post.
It was the fifth time in six games that Lukaku has been in Steve Clarke’s starting eleven and he has really earned his increased opportunities. He tends to score when given considerable time on the pitch and after the game yesterday had a similar goals-to-minutes-played ratio to the league’s leading scorer, Robin van Persie.
His stay at The Hawthorns has been confirmed until the end of the season and with nine goals for the year now, there’s no reason to think he won’t end up with a final total in the 15 to 20 range.
Elsewhere in England, Josh McEachran and Nathaniel Chalobah went head-to-head in a top of the table clash in the Championship as Middlesbrough hosted Watford. McEachran has been out injured for a couple of weeks but was fit enough to return to Boro’s starting line-up for this game.
Watford came out 2-1 winners and Chalobah had his customary tidy game in midfield, using the ball well and covering a lot of ground, whilst McEachran was substituted after an hour of his comeback.
He had the best chance to score of either player though, finding himself clear on goal but lost his footing at a crucial moment. He’s struggled for form for the last six to eight weeks – at least compared to his excellent start – but that can largely be attributed to this being his first full-length professional season. It will come with natural peaks and troughs, but the most important thing is that he’s getting excellent experience and continuing to develop.
On Friday night, Todd Kane made his debut for Blackburn Rovers, having swapped League One’s Preston North End for another Lancashire side not too far down the road. He was drafted in for a month after regular starter Adam Henley went down injured.
Manager Gary Bowyer will have known all about him having watched him up close in the 2010-11 Premier Reserve League Final, and entrusted him with a start against Wolves’ Bakary Sako, one of the better left wingers in the league.
He held his own throughout and did not look out of place in a team which played top-flight football last season. He had a couple of forays forward to little effect but should have given new boss Michael Appleton – who now takes over from caretaker Bowyer – enough reason to keep him in the fold.
Fellow right-back Sam Hutchinson remains injured and there is unfortunately no timetable for his return.
On Friday, Billy Clifford got the loan move many Chelsea followers have long hoped he got. It wasn’t to the Championship, which would have been magnificent, but instead to League One strugglers Colchester United. Manager Joe Dunne has been keen to use young Premier League talent on loan to try and get the Essex side out of their slump, as well as drawing on the club’s own youth ranks.
The U’s are therefore a very young side and Billy got 90 minutes in an attacking midfield role on his debut against Scunthorpe. A ninth straight defeat followed but the newcomer played well and should get plenty of playing time at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Clifford is also the only Blue on loan in League One now, with MK Dons confirming that Patrick Bamford has returned as scheduled after injury.
In Spain, Thibaut Courtois kept a pretty routine clean sheet for Atlético Madrid in a 2-0 win over Zaragoza. It’s his first of 2013, a year which promises to be potentially very interesting for the young stopper.
In the second division, Ulises Dávila and Sabadell picked up their form again with an impressive 2-0 win over second-placed Alcorcón. The Mexican played his now customary 90 minutes and laid on the second goal for Lanza as he continues to be productive and useful.
Jhon Pírez did not play for Leganés, as usual.
The Dutch league remains on a winter break so Gael Kakuta, Patrick van Aanholt and Tomas Kalas have not been in league action for Vitesse, but like most Dutch clubs the Arnhem side have been away on a training camp and have been playing friendlies. The wins have been comfortable as they’ve been playing amateur fodder, but Kakuta has at least been finding the scoresheet.
Amin Affane and Kenneth Omeruo are also on a winter break, although Omeruo will be representing Nigeria at the African Cup of Nations. Kevin De Bruyne and Jeffrey Bruma are also yet to resume action in the Bundesliga, and Thorgan Hazard is still on a break in Belgium.
There was some rare good news this week for Croatian goalkeeper Matej Delac, who escaped his latest hell at Vitória in Portugal and returned to his homeland and former club Inter Zapresic for the rest of the season. Inter wouldn’t have brought him back unless they intended to play (and rehabilitate) him, so he should finally get to play.


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Chelsea FC loan roundup: January 15, 2013

Another week is in the books, so as usual, here is a look at what Chelsea's young loanees did in that time. With winter breaks and winter moves still ongoing, this is a typically shortened January version. It will be bursting with players again shortly though, as several other players have made moves this week.

  • Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion): If you are reading this loan roundup, you are probably interested enough in the players we've sent out to know that Romelu Lukaku was just awesome this weekend. He scored a brace, was twice denied by the woodwork, and had a third goal disallowed for being offside. He was an absolute nightmare for the Reading defense, and looked every bit as good as we all hoped he'd become when we initially bought him from RSC Anderlecht.
  • Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid): Courtois started and was largely untested in a 2-0 victory over the weekend, and also kept a clean sheet in the scoreless draw with Getafe mid-week. Hooray!
  • Michael Essien (Real Madrid): Essien started and played well as Real crushed Celta Vigo mid-week, before being an unused substitute in a scoreless draw this weekend.
  • Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough): McEachran played an hour against Nathaniel Chalobah and Watford, and looked ok in the process. He probably should have found the back of the net, but on the whole it was a quiet return from injury.
  • Sam Hutchinson (Nottingham Forest): Still not healthy enough to play.
  • Billy Clifford (Colchester United): Clifford played 90 minutes for Colchester this weekend, despite having played for the U21 side on Thursday. He reportedly looked pretty good in doing so, and would seem likely to see some more starts after a few training sessions with the club.
  • Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford): Chalobah came off late in the 2-1 win over Boro, and was his usual excellent self in the victory.
  • Todd Kane (Blackburn Rovers): Kane got a start in his first game on loan this Friday, and he looked pretty good overall for the Championship side. It looked a bit like a player that had just joined the club, and a few training sessions should help him form a better understanding with his teammates. He was good enough that I'd expect to see a few more starts in the near future though.
  • Ulises Davila (CE Sabadell): Davila had another start for the Spanish second division club, and he assisted the second goal in a 2-0 victory. He has looked very good of late.
  • Jhon Pirez (Leganes): The usual.
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The last few seasons we have seen the number of players loaned out seems to be growing almost day by day.

Most of the time it is for players to gain experience at a lower level, reasonable explanation you would say.

However reality shows us that almost all of these (young) players return to the club and can once again play in the under-21 team and in the end are sold or when their contract expires they are released.

Through the years we have been hopeful about players like Scott Sinclair, Michael Mancienne, Fabio Borini or Jeffrey Bruma, but they hardly get a chance to play for the first team.

I can imagine they could be seen as too lightweight for our first team, but what is the reason behind loaning out without any real future at the club.

But if you look at a player like Ryan Bertrand, he is played as a midfielder instead of left back and you can ask, is he the long term solution for Ashley's departure next season or so.

Otherwise Rafa puts Nathan Ake on the bench and has used him just once for 3 minutes of injury time. Give this guy a chance if it is thought he could be a real futureblue. My expectation for next he will be loaned out to gain experience.

I think it is time the board takes a serious look at the players on our books and decide what to do with those come summer. Also, just a handful of players will be loaned, for a maximum of half a season and let them return and give them playing time.

For the second half of the season another player will be loaned to the same club in his place. That way both our club and the club the player is loaned to, will be helped.
We have a look at all our players and a total of 10 players can gain experience as well.

For the first team there are always youngsters at our disposal waiting in the wings and the under-21 and under-18 teams will have about the same players available for the whole season and can be used in the Next Gen series and can gain that

Finally, is there any team around the globe that has the same number of players loaned out.

I wonder what your thoughts are for this.

I thought this could an interesting story to read & I believe this is where Chelsea have the biggest problems of all.
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For those interested, up until the time prior to RDM's departure the club did no have anyone directly responsible for overseeing the loanees, their progress, development or in fact discussing matters or concerns Chelsea may have with the way the loaned players are being treated. Since Robbie's departure they do have a person in that position and I hope this sees an end to completely pointless scenarios, such as Josh's at Swansea turned out to be.

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I have stated for years that the loan system isnt working ...at times it looks as if there may be some benefit then it fails again ...

I am convinced Courtois will never play for us ,,,,,meanwhile we talk of a thin squad while we have players playing at the top level in Spain and Germany and Holland

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I have stated for years that the loan system isnt working ...at times it looks as if there may be some benefit then it fails again ...

I am convinced Courtois will never play for us ,,,,,meanwhile we talk of a thin squad while we have players playing at the top level in Spain and Germany and Holland

I think the same, i don't think that Courtois will play any game for us

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I have stated for years that the loan system isnt working ...at times it looks as if there may be some benefit then it fails again ...

I am convinced Courtois will never play for us ,,,,,meanwhile we talk of a thin squad while we have players playing at the top level in Spain and Germany and Holland

There are theories that the development of younger players, the buying of raw talent, development and their sales to other clubs is in place to firstly pay for the Academy and then to turn in a profit, these profits can be included in FFP calculations. Plus if we do happen to turn up a diamond through the Academy for our first team, we'd save a substantial transfer fee.

I'm not sure whether Courtois will ever play for us, he could get tied into a deal (with Torres) for Falcao or the club may decide to cash in on Petr Cech before his value drops. If I were Courtois I most certainly wouldn't want to be a second choice now!

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Chelsea’s many loanees returned to form with a bang this weekend as it rained goals, assists and red cards across the continent. With so much to talk about, let’s dive straight in.

We returned from a brief international interlude to a televised Friday night clash between two Championship promotion hopefuls as Nathaniel Chalobah and Watford took on Crystal Palace. It was a thoroughly entertaining match which was headlined for Chelsea fans by Chalobah’s third goal of the season.

With less than fifteen minutes on the clock the Hornets were two goals to the good and it was the England Under-21 international who gave them the daylight of a second strike. He stuck with the play after a corner was cleared and showed patience and timing to arrive on cue to head Marco Cassetti’s volley home at the far post.

It was part of an impressive all round game from a player who continues to make great strides in England’s second tier. He was galloping around the midfield all evening, joining attacks and getting back to tidy up just as often. He did a solid job marking the experienced Stephen Dobbie and overcame a slight groin problem to sparkle as he does so often.

Also on the scoresheet this week was Kevin De Bruyne, who returned to form in timely fashion for Belgium in midweek and carried that over into Werder Bremen’s trip to Stuttgart. In his best game for a few months the midfield playmaker hit the post, laid on a goal and sealed the victory in stoppage time with a well-taken virtuoso effort on the break.

A little later on Saturday and Thorgan Hazard was the third youngster to find the back of the net, and his stunning effort for Zulte Waregem away to Lokeren was the goal of the weekend.

Unfortunately, Zulte were only able to take a point from the fixture, but they remain second in the table and are enjoying a superb season.

There were no goals in the Eredivisie but there were impressive performances from Patrick van Aanholt and Gael Kakuta as Vitesse twice came from behind to earn a draw at home to PSV Eindhoven. Fred Rutten’s men overcame some remarkably ineffective officiating to claim a deserved point, with Van Aanholt laying on the 89th minute goal for Wilfried Bony.

The left-back had a good game but received a lot of help in a defensive capacity from Kakuta, who is quickly throwing off the reputation of a talented player who doesn’t like to work hard. He was absolutely everywhere from first to last at the Gelredome and whilst his attacking game never quite got going (PSV are stout in defence), he was a very valuable part of Fred Rutten’s side.

Tomas Kalas was dropped to the bench after some indifferent recent form but came on for the last twenty minutes, and the ease with which PSV exposed the hosts at right-back suggests he will likely be restored to the team sooner rather than later.

Kenneth Omeruo remained absent for ADO Den Haag due to his successful campaign with Nigeria at the African Cup of Nations, whilst Amin Affane returned to the Roda JC matchday squad but sat on the bench throughout their credible 1-1 draw away to Ajax.

Unfortunately, there was one sour note on an otherwise very successful weekend, and it came in the form of a red card for Jeffrey Bruma for Hamburg away to Dortmund. He received his marching orders for a professional foul on Marco Reus, but HSV still ran away 4-1 winners in one of the more unlikely results of the season.

Recounting the action elsewhere, and with Romelu Lukaku’s West Bromwich Albion not in action until Monday night (when this section will be updated with his performance), the focus in England was on the Championship again. Unfortunately, there was nothing to speak of, for neither Todd Kane nor Josh McEachran played, and Sam Hutchinson remains a long-term casualty.

Kane will return to Chelsea this week after Blackburn got right-backs Adam Henley and Bradley Orr back to fitness, meaning they no longer required the services of the Blues’ Under-21 captain. McEachran, meanwhile, was relegated to the bench by Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray as he sought the club’s first points of 2013, but a 3-2 defeat to Barnsley sees them continue their tumble down the table.

Mowbray told the local Middlesbrough press this week that he intends to meter out McEachran’s appearances for the rest of the season in a bid to get more effective performances from him. He has gone somewhat off the boil in the last couple of months as the toll of a first ever full professional campaign began to take effect, and hopefully by picking and choosing his games he’ll be able to regain a bit of form and confidence in the final 18 or so games.

There was better news in League One where Billy Clifford and Sam Walker continue to be key parts of Colchester’s rapid upturn in form. After nine straight defeats the Essex club have now taken nine points from their last twelve and have escaped the relegation zone. Walker was fantastic on Saturday in the 1-0 win over Preston, making two outstanding saves, whilst Clifford has been ever-present in midfield and looks set to extend his stay this week through to the end of the season.

Patrick Bamford is still injured and unavailable for Milton Keynes Dons.

In Spain, Thibaut Courtois and Atlético suffered a surprise defeat away to Rayo Vallecano in something of a Madrid derby. Diego Simeone’s side found themselves two behind at the break and couldn’t turn the game around in the second half.

Lucas Piazon saw more playing time than at any other point in his brief Málaga career with a twenty minute cameo away to Levante, but did little of note as the team from the Costa del Sol won 2-1.

In the second division, Uli Dávila and Sabadell were thumped 5-1 away to Almeria on Friday night in a match the Mexican and his team-mates will quickly want to forget.

In Segunda B, Jhon Pírez started his second straight game for Leganés as they took on former top flight outfit Tenerife and he played well again, proving a nuisance in attack despite the 2-1 defeat. It’s a very positive sign for him that he’s been able to return to fitness and start playing again, and hopefully it continues for a while to come.

In Croatia, Matej Delac and Inter Zapresic will return to league fixtures this week after a long winter break, and he projects to be their starting goalkeeper based on their friendlies over the last month. He started against Spartak Malchik, Gornik Zabrze, Ruch Chorzow and Nassaf Qarsi in their training camp in Turkey and will be playing regular football for the first time since leaving nearly three years ago.

Finally, it’s time to add another new face to the loan report in the form of Brazilian full-back Wallace. The Fluminense youngster signed for Chelsea late in 2012 and will be making the move in the summer (although quite where he’ll be playing is another matter) but remains a regular for Flu in the meantime. He didn’t play in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Vasco though.

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Chelsea might have added a pair of talented teenagers to their stockpile of talent this week, if reports from their homelands are to be believed. That won't stop us from keeping an eye on the talent we already have, though, and today we'll take our weekly look at the loanees:

Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion): Lukaku continued his generally excellent play yesterday afternoon, as WBA knocked off Liverpool 2-0. He scored the second Albion goal in stoppage time, probably putting to bed any thoughts that Liverpool had about qualifying for the Champions League. Thanks Romelu!

Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid): Courtois had on of the less impressive games he's played in a while, as Atletico were beaten 2-1 on the weekend. Eric Wynalda doesn't believe in sample size when evaluating a goalkeeper, so if he's aware of the existence of Courtois, I'm sure he's screaming for us to sell.

Michael Essien (Real Madrid): Essien had a solid 90 minutes for Mourinho's side as they cruised to a 4-1 victory. He's not the old Bison by any stretch, but he's certainly been good enough that Chelsea should be planning to either sell him permanently of use him next season. He's just too good to be wasted on loan.

Lucas Piazon (Malaga): Piazon got 20 minutes of action this weekend, but didn't make much of an impression for Malaga. With the Champions League resuming, he may see more minutes as fixture congestion becomes an issue.

Kevin De Bruyne (Werder Bremen): De Bruyne has been struggling a bit recently, but he brushed that off with a pair of excellent games this week. He started alongside Eden Hazard for Belgium mid-week, and as usual was very impressive for his country. He then put in one of his best games of the season on the weekend, scoring a goal, bagging an assist, and hitting the post in addition to excellent all around play.

Jeffrey Bruma (Hamburger SV): Bruma has been starting lately, and was given a tough test this weekend with Borussia Dortmund. He looked fairly good in the upset victory, before being sent off after about an hour of play.

Tomas Kalas (Vitesse Arnhem): kalas has been struggling a bit of late, and was dropped to the bench against PSV this weekend. He came on with about 25 minutes left to play, and he looked much better in that spell than he has in recent weeks. Vitesse also looked notably better after he was brought on, and I'd expect to see him returned to the starting lineup for the next fixture.

Patrick van Aanholt (Vitesse Arnhem): PvA started and looked pretty good in both defense and attack against PSV. He provided the leveling assist just before stoppage time as Vitesse picked up a valuable point.

Gael Kakuta (Vitesse Arnhem): kakuta was probably the best of the three Chelsea players at Vitesse this weekend, although he was marked fairly heavily whenever Vitesse had the ball. His decision making is much improved from this time last season, when he was just breaking into the Dijon squad.

Kenneth Omeruo (ADO Den Haag): Omeruo was still away from the Netherlands, but I'm sure all of you are aware by this point how impressive he was for Nigeria. His CAN winners medal is well deserved.

Amin Affane (Roda JC): Affane made the Roda bench this weekend, but wasn't able to get on the pitch.

Thorgan Hazard (Zulte-Waregem): The younger Hazard has been in fine form of late, and he continued his excellent work in a 1-1 draw this weekend. He scored the only Zulte goal.


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Cant help it but be excited about the future with so many young players playing well on loan. Even a player we all thought wouldnt be that good, Thorgan Hazard, has proved he is good and he scored a screamer.

Same here there is just too much talent in the pipeline for us to not be successful all we need is stability and a manager who will give the youth a chance.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Loan Report: February 18-24

Romelu Lukaku continued his rampaging season at West Bromwich Albion this weekend with two more goals to take him to a total of twelve for what has been a highly successful loan spell.
The Belgian forward put Sunderland to the sword in the reverse fixture at the Stadium of Light as an impact substitute but did all the damage on Saturday from the start. He had a first half goal disallowed then the officials failed to play an advantage in WBA’s favour but didn’t have to wait long to get his name on the scoresheet as he converted a penalty awarded for handball against Craig Gardner.
Lukaku then carried on his one-man demolition of the Black Cats in the second half, drawing a good save from compatriot Simon Mignolet before doubling his tally with a lung-bursting run culminating in blocking the goalkeeper’s clearance and watching the ball career into the net.
He wasn’t the only Belgian loanee to make his mark this weekend either, as Kevin De Bruyne scored his sixth goal of the season away to Bayern Munich. Unfortunately for him and for Werder Bremen, it was scant consolation on the wrong side of a 6-1 hiding to the runaway Bundesliga leaders.
The other Chelsea player on loan in Germany, Jeffrey Bruma, was absent from Hamburg’s matchday squad as they too took a hiding, 5-1 against Hannover.
Back in England, Josh McEachran saw a fourth consecutive start for Middlesbrough and a second consecutive ninety minutes (after playing in a goalless draw at Burnley on Tuesday) as he lined up for the reds against Millwall live on Sky Sports. He played as the deepest man in a narrow diamond midfield, chiefly responsible for distribution of the ball and setting the team’s tempo.
Boro lost 2-1 to continue their woeful 2013 form but McEachran was impressive in spells and certainly showed what he can do at times. He didn’t have a major impact on the match but passed well, did his defensive responsibilities diligently and looked both fitter and stronger than he has for a while. He is likely ineligible to face his parent club in the FA Cup this coming week.
Nathaniel Chalobah and Watford continue to go from strength to strength, however, with the England Under-21 international grabbing his fourth goal of the season in midweek as the Hornets moved into the Championship’s automatic promotion spots.
Moving into the box from his usual midfield position, he showed composure and deftness of touch to latch onto Almen Abdi’s through ball and nudge it into the bottom corner.
He didn’t carry his scoring form into the weekend win over Derby County but remains an integral part of their push for Premier League football.
Sam Hutchinson remains absent for Nottingham Forest through long-term injury but did return to training back at Chelsea this week. Forest manager Billy Davies has indicated that he may be able to recall the young defender to his squad as early as next weekend.
In League One, Sam Walker and Billy Clifford both continued in their roles as starters for Colchester United at home to promotion-chasing Tranmere Rovers but it was a day to forget for the Us as they crashed to a 5-1 home defeat.
Clifford provided the assist for their goal, swinging in a free kick for Magnus Okuonghae, but Walker will want to put this performance behind him as he and defender Josh Thompson contrived to make a series of errors which directly contributed to at least three goals.
Patrick Bamford remains on the injury table for MK Dons but, like Sam Hutchinson, returned to training this week and will be back eligible for selection in the near future.
In the Netherlands, it was a good weekend for Vitesse as they beat Heracles and saw other results go in their favour to stay in touch with PSV at the top of the Eredivisie. Their win was a remarkable 5-3 goalfest away to Heracles featuring a hat-trick for occasional Chelsea target Wilfried Bony.
Tomas Kalas and Patrick van Aanholt played ninety minutes apiece at right and left-back respectively and both played well, with the latter especially contributing in almost every attacking phase. Gael Kakuta, however, missed out on his second game in succession through injury.
Kenneth Omeruo returned to domestic duties for ADO Den Haag as an African Champion and moved back to his usual slot of right-back for the daunting trip to Ajax. Things continue to get better and better for the Nigerian though, as he helped his team to a 1-1 draw in the Amsterdam ArenA.
There has been increased speculation since the end of the African Cup of Nations that Omeruo is likely to be a part of Chelsea’s first team squad next season and whilst that might be premature at this stage, it’s an interesting proposition to consider going forward.
Amin Affane was dropped from the Roda squad which lost 4-0 away to Utrecht as a result of perceived attitude problems by manager Ruud Brood. Having reacted badly to being relegated to the substitute’s bench, the Swedish midfielder reportedly had some choice words (and gestures) for the coaching staff and has been sent to the reserve squad until further notice. With his Chelsea contract expiring at the end of the season, he will be playing elsewhere in 2013-14.
In Spain, Thibaut Courtois sat on the bench as per usual in the Europa League as holders Atlético Madrid were sent packing by Rubin Kazan in Moscow on Thursday, but was restored to the starting eleven at home to Espanyol and duly recorded his 12th club clean sheet of the season in a 1-0 win. He didn’t have to make a save until the 82nd minute, and whilst he was a little dubious in the air at times, he was rarely in real danger of making a mistake.
There was European action for Lucas Piazón for the first time though as he came on for twelve minutes of Málaga’s 1-0 defeat against FC Porto in their first leg on Tuesday. He saw a little more time from the bench on Sunday as they made the short trip across Andalusia to Seville to take on Betis. The Brazilian and his compadres lost 3-0 and with the scoreline at that mark when he entered the fray, there was little he could do affect the outcome in any meaningful way.
Ulises Dávila returned to the Sabadell squad after missing last weekend’s game through hand surgery but didn’t start their match in Xerez. He did come on in the second half and played half an hour as the Harlequinistas won 1-0 with the final kick of the game.
In Segunda B, Jhon Pírez was named on the bench for Leganés after three consecutive starts and remained there for the duration of their 2-1 defeat away to Coruxo.
There was no action for Thorgan Hazard and Zulte Waregem this week as their fixture fell foul of heavy snow in Belgium, but Matej Delac did play the full duration of Inter Zapresic’s 2-2 draw away to Slovan Belupo in Croatian league action.
Finally, in South America, Wallace played no part for Fluminense in their 3-0 defeat to Gremio in the Copa Libertadores, and neither did new signing Cristian Cuevas for Chilean side O’Higgins away to Ñublense.


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