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Mon. Apr 15th, 2024
Chelsea loanee rankings GFXGOAL

Chelsea have a chequered history with the loan system, only really reaping the rewards of shipping out their best and brightest in recent seasons, with several of Cobham’s finest shining in the first team. It’s been a long road to reach this point, with the noughties and 2010s particularly profligate; so much talent fell through the cracks and ultimately by the wayside amid Roman Abramovich’s relentless pursuit of immediate success.

Things are different now, though, with Reece James, Levi Colwill and Trevoh Chalobah walking proof that there is a route to the first team for members of the loan army, and the club’s newly-established emphasis on youth means there are opportunities to be had if you can prove yourself elsewhere.

However, for other, more experienced players, the loan system simply offers an escape route – a chance to reinvigorate their career in new surroundings, without any hope or expectation of ever returning to Stamford Bridge.

GOAL ranks Chelsea’s current crop of loanees as they progress throughout the season…

Last updated: November 15, 2023

    • Andrey Santos Chelsea Nottingham Forest 2023-24Getty

      16Andrey Santos (Nottingham Forest) – 0/10 ↔️

      It seemed for all the world that exciting young midfielder Santos would form part of the first-team picture at Chelsea this season under Mauricio Pochettino, but the club took the decision to ship him out late in the transfer window.

      Things haven’t gone to plan, with Santos regularly omitted from Premier League matchday squads at Nottingham Forest, only making his league debut at the end of October in a seven-minute cameo against Liverpool. He hasn’t been included in a matchday squad since early November.

      Forest boss Steve Cooper has claimed there aren’t many players Santos’ age playing in the Premier League, which raises the question of why they signed him at all. Chelsea have unsurprisingly decided to recall him in January.

  • Lewis Hall Newcastle 2023-24Getty

    15Lewis Hall (Newcastle) – 3/10 ⬇️

    The decision to send Hall to Newcastle on a loan deal with an obligation to buy caused uproar with the Chelsea faithful, but the versatile youngster isn’t exactly flourishing elsewhere. However, with the Magpies’ squad stretched thin by injuries, he is starting too see more opportunities having barely played before.

    He scored a fine goal against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup, but was at fault in the Champions League defeat away to Borussia Dortmund and his Premier League minutes have been few and far between.

    • Charlie Webster Heerenveen 2023-24Getty

      14Charlie Webster (Heerenveen) – 3/10 ↔️

      Life at struggling Heerenveen has been a very short and sharp rollercoaster ride so far for Webster. After a brief cameo off the bench, the midfielder scored on his full Eredivisie debut before being promptly sent off for a late lunge. The 19-year-old has played a bit-part role since, being restricted to cameo appearances off the bench.

    • Diego Moreira Lyon 2023-24Getty

      13Diego Moreira (Lyon) – 3/10 ⬆️

      No one at Lyon will be enjoying themselves amid a nightmarish season which sees them battling relegation.

      The teenage winger, who joined the Blues from Benfica this summer, impressed off the bench on his Lyon debut and started the subsequent defeat to Brest back in September, but then spent weeks out of the team. He made a return to the first-team picture after Fabio Grosso’s sacking and started against Lille and Marseille, but hasn’t had much effect amid Lyon’s struggles.

    • Gabriel Slonina Eupen 2023-24Getty Images

      12Gabriel Slonina (Eupen) – 4/10 ⬇️

      Another Chelsea loanee who forms part of a side that is struggling overall, and is perhaps suffering as a result. United States prospect Slonina made an initial impression between the sticks for Eupen in Belgium as No.1 goalkeeper, but they have since slid down the table thanks to a run of one win in 13 league games.

      The 19-year-old kept his first clean sheet in the much-needed victory over Charleroi, and his post-shot xG minus goals allowed (the most reliable metric for measuring shot-stopping ability) has risen to -1.4, with a save percentage of 68.

    • Mason Burstow Sunderland 2023-24Getty

      11Mason Burstow (Sunderland) – 4/10 ⬇️

      Burstow was given a few opportunities in the Chelsea first team at the start of the season before being shipped out to Sunderland. The rangy striker is yet to score, and having started every game since arriving, he lost his place in October amid the Black Cats’ poor form and had to wait until early December for another start before being left out for three consecutive games.

    • Cesare Casadei Leicester 2023-24Getty

      10Cesare Casadei (Leicester City) – 5/10 ⬇️

      The Italian made the fastest possible start for Leicester as he scored a stoppage-time winner off the bench on the opening day against Cardiff, but that has proven to be the high point so far for the midfielder.

      Casadei has rotated between a starting place and the bench of late, and has looked a little sluggish, acknowledging he needs to “improve”. With the Foxes on a good run of form, he’s now struggling to force his way into the starting line-up.

    • Tino Anjorin Portsmouth 2022-23Getty

      9Tino Anjorin (Portsmouth) – 5/10 ⬇️

      A veteran of Chelsea’s loan system at just 21 years old, Anjorin is being eased back from a serious ankle injury at League One table-toppers Portsmouth. After a string of brief cameos off the bench, the attacking midfielder made his first start since September 2022 in early October.

      However, after scoring against Reading with an excellent finish Anjorin has been sidelined again, although his manager has said it is not serious enough for the loan to be cut short.

    • David Datro Fofana Union Berlin 2023-24Getty

      8David Datro Fofana (Union Berlin) – 5/10 ⬆️

      Fofana continues to be given plenty of opportunities amid Union Berlin’s remarkably bad start to the season, but he hasn’t exactly set the world alight. The striker has been struggling with some personal issues and found himself in hot water after snubbing his now former manager’s handshake after being subbed in late October.

      He did, however, get off the mark with an important goal against Napoli in the Champions League, but that hasn’t sparked any sort of resurgent form. Indeed, he hasn’t featured in Union’s last three games. Only rises by default.

    • Hakim Ziyech Galatasaray 2023-24Getty

      7Hakim Ziyech (Galatasaray) – 6/10 ⬆️

      Ziyech may have finally found an escape route from Stamford Bridge after his failed January transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, but he hasn’t avoided the Blues’ injury curse. After his Galatasaray debut was delayed as he worked to get up to match fitness, the Moroccan scored and assisted in consecutive league games before being sidelined with a foot issue.

      He has returned to action, playing a huge role in Manchester United’s Champions League downfall as he scored twice and assisted in a 3-3 draw. He followed that up with a goal in the league before suffering another knock.

    • Bashir Humphreys Swansea 2023-24Getty

      6Bashir Humphreys (Swansea City) – 6/10 ⬇️

      A member of Chelsea’s loan army who seems to have a real shot at making it in the first team, Humphreys has become a key part of Swansea’s backline, with his now ex-manager Michael Duff hailing his “great mentality”.

      The highlight of his spell with the Swans to this point is undoubtedly his well-taken late winner against Norwich – a striker’s finish for his first senior goal. However, he put in a poor showing in the defeat to Leeds and finds his starting place under threat. The Welsh side have just two wins in their last 11 games.

    • Omari Hutchinson Ipswich 2023-24Getty

      5Omari Hutchinson (Ipswich Town) – 6/10 ↔️

      Hutchinson has found starts hard to come by of late as high-flying Ipswich battle Leicester at the top of the Championship. The former Arsenal winger has, however, figured in almost every game and found the net against Middlesbrough in early December. That earned him a start in the big win over Watford, which Ed Sheeran enjoyed, before he was swiftly returned to the bench.

    • Angelo Gabriel Strasbourg 2023-24Getty

      4Angelo Gabriel (Strasbourg) – 6/10 ⬇️

      Angelo took to life in European football like a duck to water, with his performances seeing him snare Strasbourg’s Player of the Month and the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Month awards for September. The 18-year-old demonstrated all the attributes that persuaded Chelsea to part with £13 million ($16m) to sign him from Santos.

      However, his loan club’s form has tailed off somewhat, and his progress was hindered by an adductor injury. Angelo lost his starting place amid a run of five games without a win, but assisted off the bench against Stade Reims.

    • Harvey Vale Bristol Rovers 2023-24Getty

      3Harvey Vale (Bristol Rovers) – 7/10 ⬆️

      After initially struggling to find his place at Bristol Rovers, Vale became a regular starter – but in the unfamiliar left-back role.

      He performed so well there that then-manager Joey Barton even compared him to Chelsea legend Ashley Cole. However, the outspoken coach has now been sacked, with Vale moved back to his natural wing position. His form hasn’t dropped off though, and his experience at the back has improved his defensive game.

    • Kepa Real Madrid 2023-24Getty Images

      2Kepa Arrizabalaga (Real Madrid) – 7/10 ↔️

      Kepa leapt at the opportunity to join Real Madrid on loan following Thibaut Courtois’ ACL injury, and he certainly won’t be regretting the decision. The goalkeeper has kept six clean sheets in 13 appearances, maintaining a post-shot xG minus goals allowed of +2 in La Liga and a save percentage of 77, and it’s said Real want to keep him already.

      However, a muscle injury in November kept the 29-year-old sidelined for the best part of a month, with Andriy Lunin excelling in his absence and keeping him out of the team upon his return to fitness. He now has a fight on his hands to reclaim the No.1 shirt.

    • Romelu LukakuGetty

      1Romelu Lukaku (Roma) – 7/10 ↔️

      In truth this is a loan in name only, with Lukaku certain to never pull on the blue shirt ever again following an acrimonious and protracted exit in the summer. Chelsea could do with an in-form striker, though, and typically the Belgian is once again demonstrating that he is the apex Serie A hitman under Jose Mourinho at Roma.

      Since plundering five goals in six league games at the start of the season, Lukaku has slowed up somewhat, although he added to his Europa League account against Sheriff and rounded off a fine team goal against Fiorentina with a tidy header. A straight red card for a lunging foul in the dying embers against the Viola saw him banned, however.

      • Gabriel Slonina Eupen 2023-24Getty Images

        12Gabriel Slonina (Eupen) – 4/10 ⬇️

        Another Chelsea loanee who forms part of a side that is struggling overall, and is perhaps suffering as a result. United States prospect Slonina made an initial impression between the sticks for Eupen in Belgium as No.1 goalkeeper, but they have since slid down the table thanks to a run of one win in 13 league games.

        The 19-year-old kept his first clean sheet in the much-needed victory over Charleroi, and his post-shot xG minus goals allowed (the most reliable metric for measuring shot-stopping ability) has risen to -1.4, with a save percentage of 68.

      • Mason Burstow Sunderland 2023-24Getty

        11Mason Burstow (Sunderland) – 4/10 ⬇️

        Burstow was given a few opportunities in the Chelsea first team at the start of the season before being shipped out to Sunderland. The rangy striker is yet to score, and having started every game since arriving, he lost his place in October amid the Black Cats’ poor form and had to wait until early December for another start before being left out for three consecutive games.

        • Angelo Gabriel Strasbourg 2023-24Getty

          4Angelo Gabriel (Strasbourg) – 6/10 ⬇️

          Angelo took to life in European football like a duck to water, with his performances seeing him snare Strasbourg’s Player of the Month and the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Month awards for September. The 18-year-old demonstrated all the attributes that persuaded Chelsea to part with £13 million ($16m) to sign him from Santos.

          However, his loan club’s form has tailed off somewhat, and his progress was hindered by an adductor injury. Angelo lost his starting place amid a run of five games without a win, but assisted off the bench against Stade Reims.

        • Harvey Vale Bristol Rovers 2023-24Getty

          3Harvey Vale (Bristol Rovers) – 7/10 ⬆️

          After initially struggling to find his place at Bristol Rovers, Vale became a regular starter – but in the unfamiliar left-back role.

          He performed so well there that then-manager Joey Barton even compared him to Chelsea legend Ashley Cole. However, the outspoken coach has now been sacked, with Vale moved back to his natural wing position. His form hasn’t dropped off though, and his experience at the back has improved his defensive game.

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