Let's get familiar with the 30-strong Chelsea loanee family

Clive Brunskill

Spread across nine countries and two continents, Chelsea have a record number of players on loan for the second half of the season. Here they all are, in descending order of age.

MARKO MARIN (24, Germany)

Where: Sevilla, La Liga, Spain
What: Full-season loan for 2013/14; first loan
Why: The club took a flyer on Marko back when Champions League triumph and a subsequent Eden Hazard was beyond anyone's wildest dreams.  The amount of hamstring injuries suffered by Marin since then have also defied belief.  He picked up another after a good start down in Spain.  He's now back and ready to resume his search for a bride career.

RYAN BERTRAND (24, England)

Where: Aston Villa, Premier League, England
What: Half-season loan starting in January; sixth loan
Why: Having fallen to third choice, Ryan heard the alarm bells and asked for a loan.  Besides harboring hopes for a World Cup squad selection, he simply needs to keep his career moving forward and nowhere is it written in stone that Chelsea would have to be the place for him to do so.  That being said, there may be a left back spot up for grabs soon.

PATRICK van AANHOLT (23, Netherlands)

Where: Vitesse, Eredivise, Netherlands
What: Second consecutive full-season loan; fifth overall
Why: Just another contender in the Chelsea left back sweepstakes.

VICTOR MOSES (23, Nigeria)

Where: Liverpool, Premier League, England
What: Full-season loan for 2013/14; first loan
Why: Once d'Artagnan to the Three Mazacateers, Moses is trying to get some playing time any way he can, even if that's by joining the enemy.  His plan has been less than a rousing success so far.

ULISES DÁVILA (22, Mexico)

Where: Córdoba, Liga Adelante, Spain
What: Full-season loan for 2013/14; third loan
Why: Good question.

GAËL KAKUTA (22, France)

Where: Lazio, Serie A, Italy
What: Half-season loan starting in January; fifth loan
Why: There was a time that we jeopardized the club's future to sign this kid; now we basically can't wait to get rid of him.  There's a minor human tragedy of failed hopes and expectations and promises somewhere in there.

ORIOL ROMEU (22, Spain)

Where: Valencia, La Liga, Spain
What: Full-season loan for 2013/14; first loan
Why: With one foot already out the door, Romeu is starting to enjoy post-rehab life in Valencia.

CHRISTIAN ATSU (22, Ghana)

Where: Vitesse, Eredivise, Netherlands
What: Full-season loan for 2013/14; first loan
Why: Atsu was a surprise deadline day signing in the summer from FC Porto.  He didn't cost much but it was still a bit odd due to his age and the immediate loan to Cobham East.  At Vitesse, he's converted from an attacking, wide midfielder to a deeper, more central player and has found a fair bit of success after some growing pains.  As a first-choice player in the Vitesse midfield, he'll be key to the club's push for the Dutch title and a Champions League place for next season.  It's hard to picture him right now as a future Chelsea player, but stranger things have happened.

LAMISHA MUSONDA (21, Belgium)

Where: KV Mechelen, Jupiler Pro League, Belgium
What: Half-season loan starting in January; first loan
Why: The oldest of the three Musondas and probably not one for a Chelsea future considering his limited ability to break into even the Chelsea U21 side.

THIBAUT COURTOIS (21, Belgium)

Where: Atlético Madrid, La Liga, Spain
What: Full-season loan for 2013/14, his third consecutive at Atlético
Why: Faced with a conundrum of what to do with two of the best goalkeepers in the world, Chelsea have been shunting the Belgian out on loan for the last three years.  That can't go on forever though and a decision will have to be made soon between Courtois and Čech.

MATEJ DELAČ (21, Croatia)

Where: FK Sarajevo, Premijer Liga, B&H
What: Half-season loan; sixth loan
Why: Delač's Chelsea career has amounted to very little more than a series of underwhelming loans.  He looked set to change that pattern at Serbian side FK Vojvodina in the first half of the season, but he lost his starting spot and the loan was cut short.  At some point his contract will expire and he will be on his merry way somewhere.

BILLY CLIFFORD (21, England)

Where: Royal Antwerp, Belgacom League (second tier), Belgium
What: Half-season loan starting in January; third loan
Why: One of the more surprising loan moves of the transfer window just ended, Clifford joins up with manager and Chelsea hero Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink.  Clifford's last loan ended in failure unfortunately as he failed to secure a starting spot at Championship side Yeovil Town.  He will need to do much better to improve on his already long odds at a Chelsea career.

MILAN LALKOVIČ (21, Slovakia)

Where: Walsall FC, League One, England
What: Half-season loan, extended to full-season in January; fourth loan
Why: As much I have a soft spot for my countryman, it's looking less and less likely that he'll carve out any sort of Chelsea career unfortunately.  After several unsuccessful loan spells, he's at least seemed to have found his level at the promotion contenders.

JHON PÍREZ (20, Uruguay)

Where: CD Leganés, Segunda B (third tier), Spain
What: Full-season loan for 2013/14; second overall
Why: The man, the myth, the legend. I've spotted him on YouTube once.

JOSH McEACHRAN (20, England)

Where: Wigan Athletic, Championship, England
What: Half-season loan starting in January; fourth overall
Why: He's had just one successful loan so far from three tries.  While still just 20, that ratio needs to start improving and start improving in a hurry.

THORGAN HAZARD (20, Belgium)

Where: Zulte Waregem, Jupiler Pro League, Belgium
What: Second full-season loan, this time with extra controversies
Why: As we know, Hazard Jr. is a super talent with apparently bonkers management.  But all involved hope to see him play with Eden at Chelsea one day.

ROMELU LUKAKU (20, Belgium)

Where: Everton, Premier League, England
What: Full-season loan for 2013/14; second loan
Why: They say it's the Year of the Horse. They are wrong. 2014 is the Year of the Kraken (or whatever we'll call him now that he cut off his tentacles).

GEORGE SAVILLE (20, England)

Where: Brentford, League One, England
What: Half-season, extended to full-season loan in January; second loan
Why: After much-improved performances last season in the youth team, Saville hit the loan circuit.  He's not the flashiest prospect, but is a very solid midfielder and has been a key performer for the League One leaders with 28 total appearances.  Manager Mark Warburton (one of the founders of the NextGen Series) is a big fan and it's easy to see Saville continuing on under his tutelage next season as well.

PATRICK BAMFORD (20, England)

Where: Derby County, Championship, England
What: Third consecutive half-season loan, first one not at MK Dons
Why: Bamford arrived two years ago and all he's done since is score tons of goals, be that for Chelsea Youth, MK Dons, or now Derby County.  He keeps that up, and it's going to become harder and harder to not attach perhaps unreasonable hopes to him for turning into the surprise solution of Chelsea's striking woes.

TODD KANE (20, England)

Where: Blackburn Rovers, Championship, England
What: Full-season loan for 2013/14; third overall, second Blackburn loan
Why: I'm a big fan of Kane and I hope he makes it at Chelsea above almost all other loanees.  He's been at the club forever, won everything at youth level, and has proven to have enough quality for the Championship at a young age already.  At worst, he becomes another Bertrand; at best, he and Azpilicueta take care of our right flank for the next decade or so.

KENNETH OMERUO (20, Nigeria)

Where: Middlesborough, Championship, England
What: Half-season loan starting in January; second loan
Why: Always impressive for his national team as well as for ADO last season, his Chelsea career got sidetracked by a separated shoulder suffered over the summer.  Now recovered and armed with a work permit, he's ready to reclaim his starting place for the Super Eagles, while helping Boro in their promotion bid.

LUCAS PIAZON (20, Brazil)

Where: Vitesse, Eredivisie, Netherlands
What: Full-season loan for 2013/14; second loan overall
Why: After a star turn for Chelsea youth but a less than impressive time at Málaga, Piazon's having himself a breakout season in the Netherlands.  Oodles of promise.

WALLACE (19, Brazil)

Where: Internazionale, Serie A, Italy
What: Full-season loan for 2013/14; first loan
Why: With the usual work permit issues to deal with, Wallace was sent, somewhat surprisingly, to Italy.  And to no one's surprise, the loan has been a minor disaster.  He's played about 130 minutes total all season.

KURT ZOUMA (19, France)

Where: Saint-Étienne, Ligue 1, France
What: Loan until the end of the season; first loan
Why: Our newest signing, finishing out his season at his previous club.  Zouma is a tremendous prospect, that much is clear.

NATHANIEL CHALOBAH (19, England)

Where: Middlesborough, Championship, England
What: Half-season loan after spending the first half of the season at Nottingham Forest; third loan overall
Why: His time at Forest wasn't the greatest.  Hopefully at Boro under Aitor Karanka, he will return to the heady days of the promise shown at Watford last season.

MARIO PAŠALIĆ (18, Croatia)

Where: Hajduk Split, Prva HNL, Croatia
What: Finishing out his season on loan; first loan
Why: The midfielder broke into league power Hajduk Split's starting lineup at 18.  That's pretty impressive, regardless of how you look at it.  And now he's part of our plan to take advantage of Croatia's eventual ascension into the Schengen Area although his ties to Germany (Wiki claims he was born in Mainz) may make that easier when the time comes.

CRISTIÁN CUEVAS (18, Chile)

Where: Vitesse, Eredivise, Netherlands
What: Full-season loan for 2013/14; first overall
Why: Your guess is as good as mine.  He may or may not be off to Dutch second tier FC Eindhoven instead since he can hardly get into the Vitesse reserves even.

STIPE PERICA (18, Croatia)

Where: NAC Breda, Eredivisie, Netherlands
What: Full-season loan for 2013/14; first overall
Why: Part of our plan to take advantage of Croatia's eventual ascension into the Schengen Area.  Meanwhile, Perica's getting regular substitute's minutes for NAC.

BERTRAND TRAORÉ (18, Burkina Faso)

Where: Vitesse, Eredivisie, Netherlands
What: Half-season loan starting in January; first loan
Why: Plenty of talent (as we saw on the preseason tour of Asia) and plenty of work permit issues, too.  So he's off to show his skills at Cobham East, a plan that got off to a decent start with a substitute appearance in each of the two matches for which he was eligible.

JOÃO RODRIGUEZ (17, Colombia)

Where: Uniautónoma, Primera A, Colombia
What: Full-season loan for 2014; second loan
Why: Assuming we'll ever get a work permit for him, there's plenty of talent here by all accounts.  For now, he's back in Colombia, apparently switching this January from boyhood club Deportes Quindio to 2013 Primera B champions and freshly promoted Uniautónoma.

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