Carlo Ancelotti has expressed his irritation with Fulham manager Mark Hughes over Chelsea loanee Gael Kakuta's lack of playing time at Craven Cottage. Since Kakuta's move to Fulham at the end of January, the teenager has racked up just 48 minutes of Premier League playing time, hardly what Chelsea would have desired when they loaned him out to allow him to develop as a starting player.
As a comparison, Daniel Sturridge, loaned out at virtually the same time, has almost ten times as many minutes for Owen Coyle's Bolton Wanderers, and he's done exceptionally in his spell there so far. Kakuta hasn't had that chance, and Carlo is... miffed. Well, as miffed as he gets:
We hope Kakuta is involved in the next few games, but he will stay at Fulham until the end of the season and then come back to us. We have to have a respect and trust in Mark Hughes – and it’s his decision and his player.
-Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea manager. Source: PFA
Although it's obviously disappointing to us as Chelsea fans that Kakuta's not getting the time that's vital for his development, at the same time one has to imagine Mark Hughes is doing what he feels is best for his team. He is not obligated to babysit for us, no matter how much we want Kakuta to play.
And the fact of the matter is he wasn't really good enough to start for us when he was here, and although Fulham are a significantly weaker team the quicker-than-expected return of Bobby Zamora and the continued good form of Clint Dempsey both represent a major barrier to giving Kakuta playing time. For some reason Moussa Dembele and Eidur Gudjohnsson appear to be ahead of the 19 year-old on the depth chart as well.
Most loan deals become more expensive if the player isn't used, and I can't imagine this would be any different. If a financial incentive can't get Fulham to play Kakuta, it seems unlikely that Hughes will heed any pressure applied by Ancelotti. Realistically, it's up to Kakuta himself to force his way into his manager's plans, because like Carlo says, he's Mark Hughes' player.