As we all know, the Chelsea loanee list is extensive to say the least. I was therefore wondering if they would be good enough (barring certain issues with depth and based solely on starting 11s) to not be relegated from the BPL this year, given how close it is. I therefore took the bottom three teams and compared them to a Chelsea loanee 11. The bottom three teams are accurate of the morning of the 2nd of February, before the afternoon's games. The Chelsea line-up will be a 4-1-3-2, seeing as this includes the best players possible, even though it may not be either a Chelsea first team formation that is often employed.
Firstly, the Chelsea loanee goalie is obviously Thibaut Courtois. Having recently been voted the fourth best goalie in the world, one place behind the incumbent first team keeper Petr Cech, he is automatically an upgrade over any of the relegation candidate keepers. However, if we compare them, firstly Fulham's keeper is Stekelenburg. He was highly rated from his time at Roma before he arrived at Fulham, yet he has found the quality of the BPL hard to deal with. Cardiff's keeper is David Marshall, who I personally rate very highly. However, his back four are hardly world class, and he has therefore been caught out several times.West Ham's keeper is Jussi Jaaskelainen. I also rate him extremely highly, and West Ham have indeed kept a large number of clean sheets this season. However, he cannot touch Courtois for actual talent.
Our right back is Wallace. Extremely highly rated before he came to Chelsea, he has regressed slightly with a disastrous loan spell to Inter. However, all signs suggest that he will be able to bounce back if given a slightly less aggressive loan location. The centre backs Omeruo and Zouma are both excellent. Omeruo already starts for Nigeria, and was a constant throughout their winning Africa Cup of Nations campaign. He also kept Cavani in his back pocket in the confederations cup! Zouma has been performing at a high level for ASSE for a long time, and although he recently returned from a long suspension, it does not seem to have affected him. Patrick van Aanholt has been a left back prospect for many years, and is one that I personally would like to see break into the Chelsea first team. The Fulham defence is porous to say the least, letting in over 50 BPL goals already this season. It therefore cannot compare to these loanees.Cardiff have been slightly more stable, but I would not consider any of their defenders for the loanee 11 apart from perhaps Steven Caulker. West Ham however have been rather good defensively, which is slightly at odds with their offensive performance. I would have Winston Reid in my side, but probably no others.
Our holding midfielder is Nathaniel Chalobah. After his loan spell at Watford, he appeared to be one of the best CDM prospects in the world. However, a less successful spell at Nottingham Forest meant that he has regressed slightly. However, I believe he is an upgrade over Sidwell at Fulham (ex-Chelsea boy!). Gary Medel, Cardiff''s CDM is tenacious, and possibly more effective than Chalobah at the moment. Diame at West Ham is a good central midfielder, and therefore I think that he may be slightly more powerful than Chalobah currently.
My attacking three are Bertrand Traore, Lucas Piazon and Thorgan Hazard. This is a trio with enormous promise, coupled with impressive stats, albeit in more minor leagues than the BPL currently. Bertrand Traore in honesty has only two senior appearances to his name, yet still has extreme promise judging by his friendly appearances for Chelsea. Lucas Piazon, as we all know, has been tearing it up with Vitesse, and is therefore one of our major prospects. Thorgan Hazard has also been excellent in the Belgian League, and was the subject of a tug of war between Zulte Waregem and Anderlecht, Belgium's biggest club. Fulham have Kacaniklic, Kasami and Duff as their front three. I suspect most would agree with me when I say that both in terms of promise and ability, the Chelsea loanees are better on both counts. Cardiff have Mutch, Noone and Whittingham. I actually believe this is an excellent line up, although Whittingham has been out of form recently.Mutch and Noone are extremely dangerous, and with Zaha on the bench they have a serious impact player. West Ham have Jarvis, Nolan and Noble. This is an experienced line-up, with an excellent crosser in Jarvis, which often works to West Ham's advantage. However, in terms of creativity and promise it cannot equal the loanees.
My two strikers are both prolific forwards, and have both been excellent on their last two loans. Romelu Lukaku and Patrick Bamford have been scoring goals galore, with Bamford excelling for both League 1 club MK Dons, and more recently Championship side Derby. Lukaku had an incredible season for WBA last year, and has had a decent season for Everton this year, although an injury has likely halted him in his tracks for a while. However, these two players look to have excellent futures ahead of them. Fulham have just signed Mitroglu, who has been extremely prolific for club and country this season. However, he is as of yet unproven in the Premier League. West Ham have Andy Carroll, a striker who heads the ball down for other players. Enough said. Cardiff have just signed Kenwyne Jones, whose scoring record is extremely inconsistent, although he did score on his debut for the club. I would much rather have either Lukaku or Bamford.
The final 11 for Chelsea is therefore Courtois, Patrick van Aanholt, Kenneth Omeruo, Kurt Zouma, Wallace, Chalobah, Thorgan Hazard, Bertrand Traore, Lucas Piazon, Patrick Bamford, Romelu Lukaku. I feel that this is a decent side, although slightly imbalanced, that would have a good chance of avoiding relegation this season.
Please feel free to comment as much as you want, and tell me any opinions or thoughts you may have. Don't be too harsh on my first post!