In what may be a case of putting too hopeful of a headline on something that’s largely common sense, reports in Belgium are claiming that Antonio Conte is looking to keep young Charly Musonda around for the rest of the season instead of sending him out on loan. Or at least that’s the intention, assuming that Musonda can convince the boss. Otherwise he’ll be sent on loan again.
According to the reports, Musonda has until January 20th to do this, with the last week of the transfer window then used to figure out a loan. This report sounds hopeful though inaccurate bits like Moses going on international duty cast doubt on its veracity (Nigeria didn’t quality for the Africa Cup of Nations, so Moses isn’t going to be leaving the club in January to play in it). But Oscar’s departure certainly opens up a possible spot in the squad.
@Dmitry_Shakhov He gets the chance to prove himself. They are also writing that Moses will go to the AFCON, while Nigeria haven't qualified.— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) December 28, 2016
@Dmitry_Shakhov Quite. I'd already written last week that Conte wants to check him out in training. But we'll see what happens.— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) December 28, 2016
We’ve already spotted Musonda in videos from the training ground and he was sitting next to Diego Costa in the stands on Monday. For now, he’s certainly a full participant in training and should he convince, he could very well play in our FA Cup match in ten days time. If he does, it will rule him out from a loan. If he doesn’t, training time with Conte now will hopefully help him in his battle for a first-team spot next summer. (Musonda participated in Betis’s preseason, not Chelsea’s, so this is Conte’s first real look at him.)