Chelsea FC Loan Roundup: September 24, 2012

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22: Romelu Lukaku of West Bromwich Albion scores the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League mach between West Bromwich Albion and Reading at The Hawthorns on September 22, 2012 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Now that Real Madrid have finished their beatdown of Rayo Vallecano, we can get you our weekly report on how the Chelsea players on loan did. There were some real highlights in the performances of Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne*, and a pair of fullbacks for Vitesse. Two loans came to an early end this week, and a third is about to expire as well. There was also a real head-scratcher, as Michael Essien started a pair of games for Real Madrid. Seriously, who knew we were so deep in the central midfield? Anyway, on to the roundup...

*So feel free to ask KDB a question if you like.

  • Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion): Lukaku made his first start for WBA over the weekend, and he'd score the only goal of the contest as WBA would defeat Reading by a 1-0 scoreline. Lukaku put in a man of the match performance, but he was a bit disappointing in the air. He won only two of the eight balls he'd challenge for, and a player of his size and strength just needs to do better in those situations. Aerial prowess (or lack thereof) aside, it was a very good day to be a kraken. Lukaku's goal can be found here, His post match comments can be found here.
  • Yossi Benayoun (West Ham United): Yossi started West Ham's game on the bench, and he was inserted during the 57th minute of play. Benayoun was not all that heavily involved after he entered the game, and while his passing was solid, he was sloppy with the ball at his feet. I've really debated whether or not to even bother with him on these loan reports anyway as he'll likely never suit up for Chelsea again.
  • Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid): Thibaut Courtois was given a game off in Atletico's opening Europa League fixture, and it looked like his focus was still on the bench for the goal that got by him on Sunday. Every keeper has days like this, so hopefully Thibaut bounces back in strong fashion this week as Atletico have a pair of away fixtures.
  • Michael Essien (Real Madrid): Essien has apparently done enough in training to warrant a pair of starts for Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid this week. That's right, we've loaned Real Madrid a starting central midfielder. Despite how bad that sounds, Essien wasn't really all that good in either game. He certainly didn't embarrass himself, but he didn't really stand out either.
  • Kevin De Bruyne (Werder Bremen): So yeah, it turns out this De Bruyne kid is pretty good. KDB was again the best player on the pitch for Werder Bremen in their 2-2 draw with Stuttgart. He found the back of the net, and was very dangerous with the ball at his feet. The only criticism I really have with his game on Sunday is that he may be a bit too aggressive with his passing, but I suppose there's worse criticisms to have.
  • Jeffrey Bruma (Hamburger SV): HSV registered a shocking win over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, but unfortunately Jeffrey Bruma was not involved due to injury. Think that Dortmund were focusing on a Champions League game midweek? The three points are the entire total for HSV so far this season.
  • Milan Lalkovic (Vitoria SC): Lalkovic came on as a substitute for the final 10 minutes of Vitoria's 1-0 victory on Friday. He was generally threatening in his time on the pitch during that contest.
  • Matej Delac (Vitoria SC): He was again the backup goalkeeper for the Portuguese side. I'd get used to hearing that, as it doesn't look like he's going to see the pitch anytime soon.
  • Tomas Kalas (Vitesse Arnhem): The Kalas on the right experiment continues, and it looks as if Kalas has been playing there forever. I know many have been dreaming of Kalas in the center of the defense long term, but he's going to be a factor in the conversation at right back this summer if he continues to play this well and Branislav Ivanovic continues to do whatever it is he's been doing this season.
  • Patrick van Aanholt (Vitesse Arnhem): PvA put in his second consecutive excellent display for Vitesse as they drew 1-1 on Saturday. He's easily been as good as the fullback he replaced in the Vitesse lineup, I believe it was some guy that signed for one of those smallish clubs up north.
  • Gael Kakuta (Vitesse Arnhem): Kakuta was again out of action with injury. Get well soon Gael.
  • Kenneth Omeruo (ADO Den Haag): While Kalas looks like he might be settling into his long term position as a right back, Omeruo is still likely better suited to the center. He was solid again on the right, although he probably could have done more to prevent the only goal of the game from Ajax in the 1-1 draw.
  • Amin Affane (Roda JC): Affane played 90 minutes for Roda on Friday, and generally looked pretty good. He's already established himself as their primary set piece taker, and he's doing an excellent job providing service from the wing. Affane could do with a bit less predictability when he's got the ball, as opponents are fairly easily reading what's coming at them and reacting accordingly.
  • Thorgan Hazard (Zulte-Waregem): Hazard got another start over the weekend, playing 90 minutes against Anderlecht. He gave them more problems than any AC Milan players did in their mid-week Champions League tie. The younger Hazard may have been a bit of an afterthought this summer, but he's looked very good on his loan thus far.
  • Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough): Josh started both of Boro's fixtures this week, and was generally slotted into a right midfield position in both matches. Josh was solid if unspectacular, displaying his usual composure with the ball at his feet. He's still a bit slow to make defensive decisions though, something that needs to improve as the season goes on.
  • Sam Hutchinson (Nottingham Forest): Sam has been playing well, but he limped off the pitch near the end of the first half as Forest faced Crystal Palace mid-week. He's apparently suffering from minor knee issues, and has returned to Cobham to be treated by Chelsea doctors.
  • Ben Gordon (Birmingham City): Ben did not feature for Birmingham this week.
  • Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford): Chalobah had one heck of a week. He made his professional debut midweek, getting 20 minutes as a substitute against Brighton. He was excellent in that showing, so Gianfranco Zola rewarded him with a weekend start against Bristol. He drew rave reviews, and the youngster was probably the best player on the pitch for that match. I'd imagine he's likely to remain a starter after that showing.
  • Ulises Davila (CE Sabadell): Davila was an unused substitute on the weekend against Xerez.
  • Archange Nkumu (Yeovil Town): Like Chalobah, Nkumu made his professional debut this week for Yeovil. He was fairly impressive in his short cameo, but he did not feature over the weekend. His loan spell is due up soon, so Chelsea and Yeovil will have a decision to make on his future.
  • Rohan Ince (Yeovil Town): Ince started for Yeovil mid-week, but did not feature on the weekend. He was a bit sloppy, but the entire team was similarly sloppy in that defeat.
  • Conor Clifford (Portsmouth): Clifford's one month loan spell has ended, and it was not extended. He's now back at Cobham, and will likely be used to bolster the U21 midfield.
  • Sam Walker (Bristol Rovers): Walker played his last game for Bristol in a 1-1 draw midweek in which he was his usual solid if unspectacular self. His loan spell was cut short as Bristol signed Neil Etheridge on loan this week. There is no word yet on what the future holds for Sam, but I'd assume that Chelsea would like to ship him back out on loan asap.
  • Jhon Pirez (Leganes): I think Pirez exists, but Legenes' fans have yet to see evidence of this existence.
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