Chelsea have an army of loanees, and with the quality of the class coming through the academy at the moment combined with the continued signings of young talents like Nathan, the Blues will likely need a partner in a more competitive league than the Eredivisie soon in order to ensure these youngsters develop. Enter Marseille, who are looking for creative ways to improve their squad on a shoestring budget, so that they can continue to fight for the Champions League places in France.
Marseille president Vincent Labrune was in attendance when Chelsea's U18 side won the FA Youth Cup (again), before sitting down with Michael Emenalo to talk about some of the youngsters he just watched. He opened up to The Independent about just what was discussed in those meetings, and it should be relatively pleasing to Chelsea fans everywhere:
"I told him a club like Marseille was very interested to build something with a club like Chelsea and have some of the young players on loan. Players who have big potential but cannot get into the first team in the Premier League, they come here on loan and the English club pays part of the salary."
That sounds a lot like the arrangement the Blues have built with Vitesse Arnhem, but would offer Chelsea loanees a chance to compete against some higher quality competition."
The article goes on to further mention that Labrune is looking at three players in particular, and mention both Jeremie Boga and Charly Musonda. Both of those would seem to be logical candidates for a loan abroad, though Marseille as a first step would be a very aggressive assignment.
I'd be quite interested in a partnership with Marseille to really push some of the kids on the brink of the first team in an environment where the club is eager to keep Chelsea happy. Players like Tomas Kalas, Kenneth Omeruo, and Bertrand Traore come to mind as guys I'd love to see sent to France, especially if Traore doesn't qualify for a work permit even after the internationals he missed through injury are taken into account.