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Chelsea loan round-up: When loanee and loanee collide in the Champions League

Both Andreas Christensen and Juan Cuadrado started as their teams faced off in the Champions League. Meanwhile, Nathaniel Chalobah needs some saving.

Chelsea, Future Chelsea (?) and Ex-Chelsea
Chelsea, Future Chelsea (?) and Ex-Chelsea
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

It was a busy midweek — midweek used a bit generously — with Chelsea loanees in action beginning on Monday and ending on Thursday.

The best-named legionnaire, Wulfert Cornelius van Ginkel, found himself on the bench yet again for Stoke City against Swansea City, unable to displace either of Charlie Adam, Glenn Whelan or Bojan Krkic. However, he maintained his record of registering some minutes in every single Premier League game Stoke have played so far, coming on for Charlie Adam with twenty minutes to play. In all honesty, the Dutchman hasn't done enough to warrant a permanent starting spot for the Potters, as was evident when all their midfielders were fit. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as Van Ginkel finally started to show some real desire on Monday. Hopefully, he'll impress enough in his substitute appearances or in the Cup to earn himself a place the starting XI more often.

Here's a touch-by-touch video of his cameo.

While the majority of the football-watching population had their eyes glued to the Champions League, there was domestic action in the Championship and League One too.

The impressive Michael Hector, to no surprise, started in the center of defence for Reading while Lucas Piazon once again got the nod from our good friend and manager, Steve Clarke, despite putting in a subpar performance in his previous outing. Reading drew 1-1 with Rotherham, as Piazon turned in yet another indifferent display. Getting denied from point-blank range in the first half by Lee Camp didn't do him any favors either.  Piazon was hauled off after sixty-two minutes for Michael Hurtado.

Jordan Houghton was a 71st minute substitute for League One leaders, Gillingham, who registered a 2-1 win against Scunthorpe. Alex Davey, who was on loan to Scunthorpe last year, wasn't involved for Peterborough.

In Turkey, Marko Marin played the whole of Trabzsonspor's 3-2 loss to Mersin. The German Messi finally seems to have found a loan destination where he's getting a consistent amount of playing time while staying healthy!

Over in Scotland, Islam Feruz watched from the bench as Hibernian prevailed 1-0 over Falkirk.

Coming to European action, we start with the Europa League, where Mario Pasalic came on for Bernardo Silva after 57 minutes, helping Monaco to a 1-0 win over Azerbaijani side Qarabag FK.

Less useful was Nathaniel Chalobah, who, as usual, didn't even make it to the bench for Napoli's clash with the side that knocked Southampton out in the qualifiers, FC Midtjylland. It's time to #freechalobah.

There were a few words from Napoli's Director of Football, Cristiano Guintoli regarding the Chelsea loanee. Hollow reassurances, if you ask me. It's been almost two months since Chalobah joined the Italian side on loan and he's had a grand total of five minutes of football so far. Indeed, the season is long, but Chelsea must take action and recall him in January if things continue this way.

Last but not least, the Champions League saw two of our loanees, Juan Cuadrado and Andreas Christensen, line up against each other, as Borussia Monchengladbach held Juventus to a goalless draw in Turin. Christensen played the whole 90, while Cuadrado was recalled only sixty-one minutes in, as Juventus looked to break the visitors' resistance.  But Fohlenelf kept Juventus' attack at bay. Even though Juventus haven't been great by any standards this season, it's yet another feather in the cap for the young Danish center back, who also impressed against Manchester City. Christensen, as he tends to do, didn't (need to) register any clear tackles but lead the way in terms of shots blocked and effective clearances, while remaining as tidy as ever in his passing. Another aspect of Christensen's play that has come to the fore is his willingness (and reasonable success) to play long balls out of defence. This, from a 19-year-old in his first season of regular professional football, is surely a mark of confidence.

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