Ranking Chelsea Loanees Who Could Do a Victor Moses and Become a Blues Regular
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Victor Moses signed a two-year contract extension at Chelsea this week, completing an incredible turnaround in his Blues career.
This time last season, Moses was on loan at West Ham United, struggling to make it into the Hammers’ first team. He hadn’t played a competitive game for Chelsea in three seasons and with Antonio Conte later named as the man to succeed Jose Mourinho as boss in the summer, we didn’t expect to see him at Stamford Bridge beyond the transfer window.
But then Moses knuckled down. He impressed his new boss during pre-season and when Conte switched systems to feature wing-backs as a key part of his 3-4-3 formation, the Nigerian became an essential part of Chelsea’s first-team.
Moses hasn’t missed a Premier League game since October, a run of appearances that coincided with Chelsea’s resurgence as they embarked on a run of 13-straight wins to take control of the title race.
On the back of his impressive form, Moses has been rewarded with a contract extension.
Chelsea currently have 37 players out on loan, grafting away and hoping to get noticed in the same way Moses has. So of that number, who do we think can emulate the Nigerian’s success story? We take a closer look.
5. Kasey Palmer
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Huddersfield Town are chasing promotion to the Premier League this season. They sit third in the Championship table as they close in on Brighton & Hove Albion, who occupy the second automatic promotion spot.
A big part of their form under David Wagner this term has been Chelsea loanee, Kasey Palmer.
The 20-year-old hasn’t featured since early February after picking up an injury against Leeds United. But in the seven months that preceded that lay-off, he was impeccable.
Palmer has five goals to his name in all competitions, also picking up three assists. They’re healthy numbers for any youngster, only the stats tell us just half the sotry of what our eyes are seeing.
The Chelsea youngster plays with an intelligence that has helped transform the way Huddersfield play. A disciple of Jurgen Klopp’s, Wagner has drafted in players who are tactically astute and understand how to manage football matches in order for his methods to succeed.
He may be barely out of his teens, but Palmer is one of those. He sees the game differently to most; he understands how to impose himself and when. That’s the sort of maturity that gets young players noticed. And when they have the ability Palmer does, then it’s even more so.
Palmer can play further forward in the current attacking three being deployed by Conte and with reinforcements needed to bolster the squad for next season, he should be considered for a promotion to the first-team.
4. Izzy Brown
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While Kasey Palmer has impressed at Huddersfield since last August, Izzy Brown has followed in his footsteps having joined the Terriers in January.
Before then he had been on loan at struggling Rotherham, where he seemed to be wasted. The Millers were rooted to the bottom of the table and despite his undoubted ability, Brown’s performances weren’t hitting the heights Chelsea perhaps expected from him.
The style of football didn’t suit a player who’s used to play through opponents, not over them.
Then came the switch to Huddersfield and we’ve seen Brown explode. With better players around him, he’s showing us his wares on a more consistent basis. He’s competing with Palmer for a place in David Wagner’s attack, proving as much of an influence as his Blues teammate.
Brown already has four goals in 11 Huddersfield appearances, including the opener agaisnt bitter rivals Leeds United last month.
He’s a player that defies logic in some ways. He’s tall and physical, yet equally has a deft touch that creates space and carves out openings. He has everything to his game to suit what Chelsea are looking for—including that eye for goal, which is a vital attribute for those in his position.
There’s been a buzz around him for a long while and now Brown’s deliverying on the hype.
3. Tammy Abraham
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How do we judge strikers? It’s a simple answer: on their goalscoring ability. Tammy Abraham has struck 21 times for Bristol City this term, so by that measure the 19-year-old has proved his worth.
His loan spell at Ashton Gate has been a roaring success. From scoring on his debut, to his brace last month in a 3-3 draw with Derby County, he has set the Championship alight.
What Abraham has achieved with the Robins has set the benchmark for any Chelsea striker who is hoping to come through at Stamford Bridge. Patrick Bamford did something similar with Middlesbrough in 2014/15, but Abraham’s form has taken it a step further.
He’s been the biggest threat Lee Johnson’s side has carried, scoring the goals that at one point seemed to have them knocking on the door of the play-offs.
Abraham’s form couldn’t have come at a better time, either. Outside of Diego Costa, Chelsea have just Michy Batshuayi to call upon up front; and the Belgian is yet to start a Premier League match this season.
It’s clear Chelsea need to strengthen, which is why we can expect Antonio Conte to sign another striker this summer. But with Abraham in the form he finds himself, that momentum counts for something and may well sway his manager’s mind when it comes to reinforcements.
2. Andreas Christensen
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From reinforcements up front, Antonio Conte knows this summer is going to be pivotal in how he restructures his defence.
The Italian has found a solution with the Cesar Azpilicueta-David Luiz-Gary Cahill combination at the back, but outside of that trio, Chelsea still lack any real depth to suit the football Conte wants to play.
They’ve been able to cope with that given they have no European football to contend with, but next season will almost certainly see Chelsea back in the Champions League and in need of quality reinforcements.
Andreas Christensen is already a Chelsea player. After two years on loan with German side Borussia Monchengladbach, he’ll argue that he is ready to be starting matches regualrly for the Blues.
It would be hard to disagree with him.
Not only has Christensen shown himself to be sound defensively, he has all the attributes to slot in anywhere along Conte’s back three.
The young Dane is intelligent in possession and reads the game well enough to be considered the middle man in that formation. Equally, he is combative and strong aerially to compete with Cahill or Azpilicueta either side of Luiz.
He has matured during his time in Germany and this summer Chelsea will save themselves significant transfer funds by integrating Christensen into their first-team plans.
1. Lewis Baker
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Lewis Baker is the jewel in the crown of all those players Chelsea have out on loan right now.
The Englishman has become a big figure with Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem and after two seasons with them, is knocking on the door for a promotion to Chelsea’s first team.
Baker has everything big clubs want from their midfielders. He has the craft to open up defences in the way Chelsea fans see from Cesc Fabregas; but not only that, Baker scores goals himself and is earning a reputation for being a set-piece expert.
When we consider what he offers, there are very few players at Chelsea who do what Baker does.
The 21-year-old can play in a central position—so think of him alongside N’Golo Kante, offering the style to his substance—or further forward to feed Diego Costa as one of the two attackers in a supporting role.
Baker has reached the maturity stage of his loan existence. He has little else to achieve and when a player comes to that fork in the road, clubs cash in or promote. Where Baker’s concerned, it has to be the latter as he’s simply too talented for Chelsea to risk him moving elsewhere.