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Chelsea FC loan roundup: December 31, 2012

We'll take our last look in on Chelsea's youngsters on loan before the calendar turns to 2013

Michael Regan

This will be a short report, as quite a few leagues throughout Europe are on winter break.

  • Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion): Lukaku played a pair of games this week, starting against QPR before coming on as a substitute against Manchester United. He was a bit quiet against QPR, but looked very good against the United defense on the weekend.
  • Yossi Benayoun (West Ham United): Yossi is out with injury, and will be returning to Chelsea in short order. Rafa Benitez and Yossi Benayoun have an absolutely marvelous relationship, so I'd imagine he'd accept a loan to Mars to get out of town again.
  • Milan Lalkovic (Vitoria SC): Lalkovic got a rare eight minutes of action this weekend, but I'd still be surprised to see him left in Liga Sagres for the remainder of the season. Thus far, he's seen less than 150 total minutes on the pitch.
  • Matej Delac (Vitoria SC): Delac finished 2012 in his typical backup goalkeeper role.
  • Thorgan Hazard (Zulte-Waregem): The younger Hazard saw about 75 minutes against Leuven over the weekend, and by all accounts he was pretty good. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find a stream for that game, I was really looking forward to seeing more of him without many of our other youngsters in action.
  • Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough): Josh was a starter on boxing day against Blackburn, but has to come off after 55 minute with an injury. He may miss some time as a result.
  • Sam Hutchinson (Nottingham Forest): Forest have been keeping Sam around despite his injury, but it's unclear if they'll continue to do so now that Alex McLeish is in charge. A recall and loan to another club wouldn't surprise me at all.
  • Ben Gordon (Birmingham City): Ben Gordon was actually named to an 18-man squad this week, but didn't manage to do anything aside from warm up on the sidelines.
  • Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford): Watford's only game of the week was against Brighton over the weekend, after their midweek game was postponed. Chalobah put on one heck of a show in his appearance, playing his best game as a professional in the 3-1 victory. Chalobah's loan is up in the next several days, so I'd expect to hear more about his future shortly.
  • Patrick Bamford (MK Dons): Bamford was finally fit enough to come on at halftime against Walsall, but aggravated his hamstring injury and had to be taken off before the end of the game. His loan spell is likely due up before he'll be fit again, so I'd expect his loan to be extended or for Bamford to return to Cobham in the next several days.
  • Conor Clifford (Crawley Town): Clifford made the bench this weekend, but was again unused. I'd expect him to return to Cobham when his loan ends in a week.
  • Todd Kane (Preston North End): Kane managed to make two benches for Preston this week, and didn't get any playing time in either game. Like Clifford, I'd expect a Cobham return after a massively disappointing month.
  • Sam Walker (Bristol Rovers): Walker started in a 2-2 draw on boxing day, the first game under new manager John Ward. It's unclear if Ward will continue to use Walker or look for another keeper in January, so Sam may be another that returns to Cobham shortly.

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