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Chelsea Loan Round-up: Lewis Baker goals; promotion play-offs; others

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Sparta Rotterdam vs Vitesse Arnhem - Cup Semifinal Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

ENGLAND:

Tomas Kalas played a strong game at the back in Fulham’s play-off first leg game against Reading, at Craven Cottage. The game ended 1-1, as Reading looked to tactically play out the encounter in London and play to their advantage at the Madejski Stadium in the second leg. Lucas Piazon was an unused substitute. Ex-Chelsea player John Swift a.k.a Swifty also played 74 minutes for Reading; Swifty has had a good first season as a Reading player and continues to show (and begin to fulfill) a great deal of promise.

Upcoming fixtures: Reading (H, May 16)

Izzy Brown played the whole 90 as the second play-off first leg also ended in a draw, but a goalless one at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield. Brown came very close on one occasion, hitting the crossbar early on, which was also the closest either side got to scoring on the day.

Like Swift with Reading, Sheffield Wednesday’s side has also featured a former Chelsea player for quite some time now, namely Sam Hutchinson. Wednesday was Hutchinson’s final loan before leaving Chelsea on a permanent deal and ever since, he’s established himself as one of the best midfielders in the Championship. Due to twisting his knee two days before the first leg he was not involved in it, but Wednesday manager Carlos Carvahal has said that Hutchinson could make it back in time for the second.

Upcoming fixtures: Sheffield Wednesday (A, May 17)

Loic Remy wasn’t involved for Crystal Palace.

GERMANY:

Andreas Christensen started as Borussia Monchengladbach’s Europa League hopes were dealt a fatal blow; the Foals could only manage a 1-1 draw against 15th-placed Wolfsburg and can finish no higher than 7th place now.

Upcoming fixtures: Darmstadt (H, May 20)

Michael Hector played another 90 minutes in Eintracht Frankfurt’s 4-2 loss versus FSV Mainz. Frankfurt are 11th in the league table but still harbour ambitions of European football, which they can achieve by beating Borussia Dortmund in the final of the DFB Pokal.

Upcoming fixtures: RB Leipzig (H, May 20)

THE NETHERLANDS:

The Dutch Eredivisie 2016-17 season came to and end this weekend, with Feyenoord clinching the title on the last day, with a 3-1 win against Heracles Almelo, thanks to a Dirk Kuyt hat-trick. Ajax finished a point behind them and Bertrand Traore was a half-time substitute on the final matchday, versus Willem II. Ajax have the big Europa League final against Manchester United in Stockholm in a week’s time.

Upcoming fixtures: Manchester United (N, May 24)

Lewis Baker and Matt Miazga played 90 minutes as Vitesse finished their most successful season (a Cup win being the first major trophy in their history, a 5th-placed finish and qualification to the Europa League) with a 3-0 win against Roda JC. Baker was the scorer of the final goal, which was a fitting end to his stint as a Vitesse player that saw him score 20 goals in 73 games. Nathan and Mukhtar Ali were unused substitutes. I believe Baker is definitely moving to a higher level next season, but the futures of Nathan, Miazga and Ali at Vitesse are anybody’s guess at the moment. I would say there’s a decent possibility of Nathan and Ali returning there next season as well; one could only imagine Ali was sent there for Vitesse to look at him as a prospective replacement for Baker next season. Miazga has been outstanding for them and no doubt they’d want him back next season, but personally I feel the American should challenge himself at a higher level.

Also, Baker’s goal took this season’s Loan Army goal tally to 126 and hence surpassing the previous highest tally of 125 by the 13-14 batch.

Here’s a compilation of all of Baker’s goals this season by FFDTV Online.

Marco van Ginkel started in PSV’s 4-1 win against PEC Zwolle. The Eindhoven side are openly keen on retaining Van Ginkel for an extended period, while Chelsea are said to want to re-assess his situation at the club this summer. Even if Chelsea decide against him keeping him for next season, he’s another player whose level is definitely above that of the Eredivisie.

Danilo Pantic was not involved for Excelsior. What a terrible two seasons he’s had as a Chelsea player!

BELGIUM:

Cristian Cuevas was an unused substitute for STVV, while Matej Delac started for Mouscron in a 2-0 loss to Genk.

OTHERS:

Victorien Angban made his fourth start under Tony Adams and Jeremie Boga got one as well, as Granada lost 2-1 to Osasuna.

Upcoming fixtures: Espanyol (H, May 19)

Mario Pasalic played 78 minutes in a 1-1 draw against Atalanta.

Upcoming fixtures: Bologna (H, May 21)

Kenneth Omeruo played the whole of Alanyaspor’s 4-2 win against Karabukspor.

BONUS BLAST FROM THE PAST:

Look at what I stumbled across! Here’s an individual highlights video of Nathaniel Chalobah from early 2013, when he was on loan at Watford, aged 18. I figured it might be a decent time to share this, given he started yesterday.