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Chelsea FC loan roundup: January 29, 2013

A look in on how Chelsea's youngsters on loan performed over the past week

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Another weekend is in the books, and quite a few Chelsea loan players saw minutes again as most winter breaks have come to an end. Matej Delac and Anjur Osmanovic still have a bit of time before they get going again, but the rest will be back to business as usual. Kenneth Omeruo continues to be away at the Africa Cup of Nations, where he's been seeing regular minutes for Nigeria. Here's what those that are still with their clubs did over the weekend:

  • Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion): West Brom were not in action this weekend, so neither was the Kraken.
  • Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid): Courtois played a pair of games this week, and some balls finally found their way by him into the back of the net. He was excellent in both games though, and had a few absolutely outstanding saves against Athletic to keep that loss to just 3-0. For those of you that watched that game, Atletico looked lackluster enough that I thought Rafa Benitez must be patrolling their dugout.
  • Michael Essien (Real Madrid): Essien started and played the full 90 minutes as Real Madrid crushed Getafe this weekend. I thought he looked pretty good.
  • Lucas Piazon (Malaga): Piazon made a pair of Malaga benches this week, and made his debut in a midweek cup tie against FC Barcelona. Unfortunately, I don't think Barca actually lost the ball in his 15 minutes or so on the pitch, and he was not really a factor at all. He went unused over the weekend.
  • Kevin De Bruyne (Werder Bremen): De Bruyne and Werder have looked poor since the winter break ended in the Bundesliga, and De Bruyne has been playing in sort of a false nine role. This weekend saw him moved to the left flank, and he was fairly quiet in another rather ugly display from his side.
  • Jeffrey Bruma (Hamburger SV): With Michael Mancienne out, Jeffrey Bruma stepped back into the starting lineup at center back for HSV. He did fairly well, as he was barely noticeable if you weren't specifically watching for him. That's not good if you're a center forward, that's exceptional if you're marking one.
  • Tomas Kalas (Vitesse Arnhem): Kalas started this weekend's 3-2 victory against league-leading Ajax, but he had a bit of a rough time containing the Ajax attack on his flank. He looked very good going forward though, and clearly got better defensively as the game went on.
  • Patrick van Aanholt (Vitesse Arnhem): PvA had an excellent game against the Eredivisie leaders, looking menacing down the flank all game and scoring the equalizing goal about ten minutes from time. Ashley Cole's one-year extension likely means another year on loan for van Aanholt, but he's been very, very good this season for Vitesse.
  • Gael Kakuta (Vitesse Arnhem): Kakuta also played the full 90 minutes, and had a pretty good game overall. Teams seem to be marking him more heavily with Wilfried Bony away, but he's been pretty solid despite the extra attention.

  • Amin Affane (Roda JC): Affane was again left out of the Roda 18-man squad on the weekend.
  • Thorgan Hazard (Zulte-Waregem): Hazard picked up where he left off before the winter break as Zulte won 2-0 over Lierse. He won the penalty that led to the second Zulte goal, and generally was a problem for the Lierse defense. No ballboys were harmed in his performance.
  • Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough): McEachran's loan club was in action, but Josh continued to sit out cup matches for Boro (apparently at Chelsea's request). I'd take that as a strong indicator that he's the backup plan should another midfielder go down to long term injury.
  • Sam Hutchinson (Nottingham Forest): Hutchinson is still out with injury, and did not feature against Watford.
  • Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford): All of you asking for Chelsea to buy a new defensively oriented midfielder need to start watching more Watford games. Chalobah got his usual start in the middle as Watford rolled over Nottingham, and he was absolutely fantastic in the win. That win has seen Watford jump to fourth in the Championship table, only one point behind second place and automatic promotion.
  • Todd Kane (Blackburn Rovers): Kane played in the FA Cup on his month at Preston, so he was not eligible this weekend for Blackburn.
  • Ulises Davila (CE Sabadell): For some reason, Davila was used at center forward this weekend and by all reports looked fairly poor in that role. It's good that he's getting regular starts, but it doesn't make an awful lot of sense to use him in a role that he's so poorly suited for.
  • Sam Walker (Colchester United): Sam Walker made his first start for Colchester with the club looking to avoid losing for the first time since mid-November, and he kept a clean sheet in the 2-0 win. He looks set to be the regular starter going forward.
  • Billy Clifford (Colchester United): Clifford also started for Colchester as they ended their nine match losing streak, and he reportedly looked good in the process.
  • Jhon Pirez (Leganes): Move along, move along

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