And now for something completely different. Well, I guess not that different since we're all one big happy Chelsea family now, from the - ugh - manager on down to the youth team.
And speaking of the youth team, even though Chelsea have, at last count, about 6431 prospects out on loan, they've decided to loan three more out. Chelsea loan players for everyone! It is the season of giving, after all.
First up, it's Patrick Bamford. Don't let the fact that he's ostensibly the (oh god) third choice center forward fool you, Bamford is just 19 and is not really ready for any sort of first team action. He does have an eye for goal even though he is neither the fastest, strongest, or smoothest of players. Signed at the beginning of this calendar year from Nottingham Forest, Bamford has netted 9 times for the various youth teams since then. He will now join MK Dons until January 7. The Dons are one of the better sides in League One (having been at that level since 2008) and currently sit 4th.
Next, it's Conor Clifford, aged 21. Clifford is no stranger to loans, this being his second already this season and fifth overall. Although he has received a couple senior call-ups to the Irish National Team, Clifford's future probably lies away from Stamford Bridge. Many thought his earlier loan to Portsmouth was a precursor to a permanent move and while that didn't pan out, the same may be true of this one. Clifford will be on loan until January 2nd at Crawley Town. Having gone through a host of financial problems, Crawley Town have stabilized as of late and gained promotion to League One last year where they currently sit 9th.
Last but certainly not least, it's Todd Kane. Kaner, 19, is a personal favorite of mine. A lifelong Chelsea fan, he joined the club at the U-8 level. He's been involved with the reserves for a couple years now and was named captain of the U-21 team this year. He won the FA Youth Cup last season and was part of the squad that traveled to Munich for the UEFA Champions League final. Todd Kane, and all his marauding strength up the right flank, will be on display until January 2nd at Preston North End. Preston, the original "Invincibles" and "Double" winners, is a club with a rich history with two First Division and two FA Cup titles to its name. Since the '60s, they've been stuck in the lower levels, almost falling completely out of the league in 1986. They recovered admirably to almost gain promotion to the Premier League 20 years later. Despite having a crazy man at the helm (late night texts, anyone?), Preston's currently 10th in League One.
BONUS LOAN UPDATE:
Making a mockery out of the title of this article, forgotten man Anjur Osmanovic, who has been pretty much completely uninvolved this season, has been sent on loan back to his old club Lärje/Angered in Sweden. Osmanovic has been slowed by a variety of injuries for the past 12-18 months and has thus struggled to make any impact in the Chelsea youth setup. Good luck to him.