With the transfer deadline now past, Chelsea will not be able to send any other players on loan for another week. Now that we've reached a bit of a lull in terms of roster movement it seems a good time to review where our players have been loaned out to. Chelsea currently have 10 players who've been loaned out to various locations, and we're going to try to take a look in on those players around the beginning and middle of every month (look for the first recap today or early tomorrow). I'm sure a few players will be added to this list when the lower division transfer period re-opens next week, but here are the players currently out on loan.
Thibaut Courtois - The 19 year old Belgian who was the first signing of the AVB era is currently out on a season long loan at La Liga side Atletico Madrid. He's already establisjed himself as the first choice keeper there, so playing time will not be an issue.
Sam Walker - Walker is a 6'6" 20 year old shotstopper who anchored the club's run to the FA Youth Cup two seasons ago. He's currently on loan at Northhampton Town in League 2 where he is also entrenched as the club's number one.
Yossi Benayoun - The club clearly wanted to see more development out of Yossi, so they sent him to relegation threatened Arsenal where he should get the necessary playing time to hone his craft. Seriously though, Benayoun was simply surplus to the requirements and the club probably had a difficult time finding anyone to both pay a fee and pay his wages (he likely didn't want to take a pay cut). The loan deal to Arsenal makes sense in a number of ways. We're free of his wages, we cleared the roster spot for Meireles, and we've still got the ability to use him next season if there is a need. I'm going to skip including Yossi in the regular loan roundups as we all know what he brings to the table at this point.
Patrick van Aanholt - Patrick agreed to a season long deal that will see him competing for time at Wigan Athletic yesterday evening. I'm a fan of the move, as Wigan is one of the few teams in the lower portion of the table that plays a similar type of system to Chelsea on a regular basis. Wigan has some established talent on the left, but I'd fully expect van Aanholt to challenge them for playing time almost immediately. This will be a good test to see how ready he is to contribute here. Hopefully he really impresses so that we don't have to revisit the Alvaro Pereira talks in the future.
Jeffrey Bruma - Bruma will be spending the season overseas at Frank Arnesen's Hamburg. The loan is a season long deal with an option for a second season if Chelsea so chooses. Bruma quickly established himself as first choice at Hamburg, but with the addition of Slobodan Rajkovic to the squad he may find it more challenging to earn playing time. Like van Aanholt, this loan spell will tell us a lot about what we have.
Tomas Kalas - The young Czech really impressed both with the club and internationally this summer. He's been loaned to Chelsea favorite's Vitesse Arnham where I'd expect he will see regular playing time. Vitesse was excellent with the pair of outfield players we sent them last year, and I'd expect this spell to be no different.
Ulises Davila - The newest signing of our loanees, Davila will make his way to Vitesse to link up with Chelsea teammate Tomas Kalas. Like Kalas, I'd expect Davila to feature regularly. His style of play ought to be perfect for the Eredivisie. It will be interesting to see what roles he plays most often there, but my guess is he'll be most often utilized in a traditional #10 role.
Gael Kakuta - This may be something of a make or break season for Kakuta. He's unquestionably talented, but his play has been very inconsistent for the last several seasons. One moment he'll wow you with something fantastic, and the next he'll send 4 or 5 passes in a row to nowhere in particular. To work on that, the club has sent Gael to Bolton until January 1st. Kakuta hasn't really had a consistent role at any of the youth, senior, or international levels, so a few months in Owen Coyle's system may be just what the doctor ordered. Daniel Sturridge had nothing but praise for Coyle and Bolton this morning, so hopefully he works the same magic on Kakuta as he did with half seasons of Danny and Jack Wilshere.
Ben Gordon - Gordon is no doubt a talented left back, but unfortunately he's stuck behind two even more talented young players in the Chelsea ranks. Gordon was loaned to championship side Peterborough United until January 1st, and with his contract running out after the 2012/13 season he really needs to impress this year if he hopes to remain with the club.
Milan Lalkovic - Lalkovic is out on his first loan spell, and he's been sent for a month to Championship side Doncaster Rovers. He went out August 18th, so he should be returning in just a couple of weeks if the loan is not extended. If Lalkovic establishes himself as a regular first choice, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see this deal extended until January 1st as well.
At the moment, this is the entire Chelsea contingent of loaned players. I'm sure quite a few more will be heading out to the lower levels in England in the coming weeks, and Graham and I will be sure to keep you updated as those deals go down. We'll also do our best to keep you informed about their performances while away on loan. Best of luck on loan guys...do Chelsea proud.
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