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Chelsea Loan Round-up: Goals and assists, starring Mason Mount, Michy Batshuayi, Lucas Piazon

Loan Army action from January 19 - February 12

Vitesse v Feyenoord - Dutch Eredivisie L-R Navarone Foor of Vitesse, Mason Mount of Vitesse, celebrates the victory after the game during the Dutch Eredivisie match between Vitesse v Feyenoord at the GelreDome on February 11, 2018 in Arnhem Netherlands (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images

ENGLAND:

Kenedy has been the pick of Chelsea’s youngsters on loan in the Premier League, making a couple of impressive starts for Newcastle United. He was thrown straight into the mix against Burnley on the 31st, where he assisted Jamaal Lascelles’ goal from a corner and was also named man of the match.

His talent shone through once again against Crystal Palace, where another one of his corners led to Mohamed Diame’s opener (although the assist was officially credited to Ayoze Perez). Rafa Benitez deployed Kenedy as a left-winger on both occasions and to no one’s surprise, he’s shown that he can comfortably play at this level, just as he did when given an opportunity during the 2015-16 season, though his match fitness is still lacking a bit — after all, he hasn’t played regular football since leaving Brazil.

Kenedy played 84 minutes in a memorable 1-0 win against Manchester United this weekend, where he displayed his tenacity down the left flank, but his influence was curtailed gradually, as he tired in the second half.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been back at Cobham, receiving treatment for an ankle problem that’s kept him out for over a month now. Roy Hodgson mentioned that Ruben would be receiving treatment at Cobham for a period of 10-15 days and if his body didn’t respond to it positively, then he’d likely be seeing a lot of time on the sidelines. Either way, we should have more information on his injury soon.

Tammy Abraham’s first start back from injury came in a 1-1 draw at Notts County in the FA Cup, in which he looked out of sorts and was hauled off after 70 minutes. He was then left an unused substitute in their next two league games against Arsenal and Leicester City, with Carlos Carvalhal urging him to show that he deserves to be back in the thick of things. Abraham did just that when he was handed his next start, by scoring twice and assisting just as many in an 8-1 drubbing of Notts County at the Liberty Stadium.

His efforts against the League Two side didn’t earn him a start against Burnley, but he did get to play the last fifteen minutes of the 1-0 win on Saturday.

Kurt Zouma and Stoke City have found themselves in the midst of a merciless relegation dogfight, and are currently placed second from bottom although the nature of this season’s rat race is such that only 7 points separate teams placed 17th and 9th. Now’s a good time to remember that despite Stoke’s struggles, Zouma is at least getting regular minutes in the Premier League.

Ola Aina has started all five of Hull City’s games in the past month, and Michael Hector has done the same for all but one. However, Fikayo Tomori seems to have fallen out of favour with Nigel Adkins and hasn’t seen any minutes since the beginning of this month. Tomori’s last match was a loss to Leeds United, where he played at right-back and showed industry, but wasn’t effective enough going forward. He’s since been replaced by Aina, who shifted over from left-back. Tomori faces an uphill climb ahead, he has Aina to compete with for the right-back place and new signing Angus MacDonald stands in the way of a starting center-back place after a solid display in Hull’s 2-0 win against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, which was their first win in the league since the beginning of December. It also saw them climb out of the bottom three, but only just, as they lie above 21st-placed Barnsley by a single point.

Moreover, long-term injury absentee Moses Odubajo will be back in full training by the end of the month. For the first time this season, the Chelsea loanees at Hull City are set to face serious competition for places. Aina and Hector certainly seem up for it, though, after putting in excellent shifts against Forest.

As for Lewis Baker, it’s rather puzzling as to why the 22-year-old wasn’t re-assigned a loan destination during the January window, having spent several months on the fringes at Middlesbrough first under Garry Monk, and now Tony Pulis. Pulis did cut down significantly on his squad size and sent Swansea loanee, Connor Roberts back to his parent club but somewhere on Teesside, remains Lewis Baker. It’s hard to imagine there was a dearth of suitors for Baker as he’s comfortably at least of the Championship level. Hence, the only conclusion one can arrive at, is that Baker himself insisted on staying at Boro and working his way back into his manager’s plans. It’s commendable attitude, but hopefully it won’t end up costing him.

Jake Clarke-Salter has started each of the last three games for which he’s been available, a 1-0 win against Hull City, a 3-1 loss to Birmingham City and a 3-3 draw against Bristol City. Clarke-Salter has shown that he’s a handy defender with the ball but still has some adapting to do before he can perform to the best of his ability. It’s not going to get any easier for Jake though, with Sunderland mired in all sorts of problems and sitting in 23rd place in the 24-team second division.

2018 EFL Championship Football Bristol City v Sunderland Feb 10th Photo by Nathan Munkley/Action Plus via Getty Images

Jeremie Boga has continued to be one of the first names on the Birmingham City team-sheet; the only games in the recent past that he didn’t start were the two FA Cup games against Huddersfield Town. The dynamic winger has been key to Birmingham’s recent resurgence that’s seen them move two points above of the relegation zone, into 20th place. Boga scored his second goal of the season in a 3-1 win against Sunderland, with a peach of a header (!) from a Jacques Maghoma cross.

Kasey Palmer has made a couple of substitute appearances for Derby County after his loan move on deadline day, against Norwich City and and Brentford. He’ll have to work hard to break into the Derby starting XI with Matej Vydra excelling this season in the central attacking midfield position.

Jamal Blackman missed his chance to start versus Preston North End in the FA Cup, but started in goal as Sheffield United beat Leeds 2-1 on Saturday, with Simon Moore suspended after getting sent off in a 3-0 loss to Wolves. Hopefully Jamal will stake his claim for an extended run in the side once more.

Lucas Piazon has been in fine nick since his return from injury, contributing two goals and as many assists over the last four games, starting both. The most recent was a headed assist for Matt Targett against Bolton, although it wasn’t his finest overall display. Tomas Kalas has been a steady presence at the back for the Cottagers, also helping them make their way into the play-off places with four wins from the last five games.

MK Dons haven’t yet won a single game under new manager Dan Micciche, but Ike Ugbo scored his first goal for his new club against Portsmouth on Saturday.

Jay Dasilva has remained an undisputed starter for Charlton Athletic and also one of their best players, although he does now have additional competition for his place in the form of fit-again Lewis Page. He assisted Charlton’s second goal in a 2-3 loss to Oxford United after winning the ball back from the opposition near the byline and crossing for Josh Magennis to finish.

You’ll notice that the scorer of Oxford’s equaliser in the above game was none other than Todd Kane, which served as redemption for his glaring defensive error earlier in the game. Kane also started Oxford’s subsequent game, which was a 1-2 loss to Bristol Rovers.

Jordan Houghton has started four of Doncaster’s last five league games. The one game he didn’t start was a 1-3 loss to Bristol Rovers; the rest were either 1-1 or 2-2 draws.

Bradley Collins remains first-choice between the posts for Forest Green Rovers, who lie just outside League Two’s relegation zone in 22nd place.

Nathan Baxter let in three goals against his former loan club, Solihull Moors but since then has conceded only one goal in three, most recently keeping clean sheets against Chester and Fylde. Meanwhile, Jared Thompson’s Chippenham Town, a division lower than Woking, had won their last league game on the 2nd of December before registering a 1-0 win against Bognor Regis Town on Saturday, and have been dragged into the National League North relegation dogfight.

SCOTLAND:

Charly Musonda Jr. generated large amounts of hype in Glasgow after his loan move to Celtic with ample amounts of fan service via social media posts, and also choosing the number 67, which refers to the most successful year in the club’s history. Unfortunately, his actions on the pitch haven’t yet backed it all up.

In his full debut against Kilmarnock, it became quickly evident that Musonda was blessed with plenty of natural ability and quick feet but the much-heralded prospect failed to particularly influence proceedings, being quickly crowded out and/or fouled by Kilmarnock players on most occasions. A couple of injury-enforced changes in the first half of that game saw him complete 90 minutes, but he only lasted 65 minutes against Partick Thistle in the Scottish FA Cup before being hauled off after much of the same. Hopefully his bedding-in period has neared its end and he hits the ground running against Zenit St. Petersburg in the Europa League on Thursday.

GERMANY:

In news that is probably already well-known, Michy Batshuayi has had a fantastic start to his (hopefully just) six-month-long stint at Borussia Dortmund, contributing three goals and an assist in his first two starts. All hail the Batsman!

Meanwhile, Baba Rahman hasn’t yet been deemed fit enough to feature for Schalke 04.

THE NETHERLANDS:

Matt Miazga, Fankaty Dabo and Mason Mount have played every minute of Vitesse’s last five games, of which they’ve won three, lost one and drawn one. They’ve failed to score in only one of them, a 1-0 loss to ADO Den Haag but in the rest, young Mason Mount has scored or assisted one goal.

First up, against SC Heerenveen, Mount’s cross led to Daniel Høegh turning the ball into his own net, under pressure from Vitesse striker Tim Matavz.

He scored the winner in their next game, against PEC Zwolle, scoring from some distance out and an acute angle as well, with a free-kick reminiscent of one of Willian’s from the 2015/16 season.

In their 2-0 win against FC Groningen, both goals were scored by Chelsea loanees. Matt Miazga headed in Lassana Faye’s cross to give Vitesse the lead in the 6th minute and Mount doubled their advantage 26 minutes later; the 19-year-old took two touches to coolly dispatch Mitchel Van Bergen’s low cross into the area.

Mount then assisted Guram Kashia’s opener with a fine cross to level the score against Feyenoord. A double from Bryan Linssen then saw Vitesse go on to clinch a hugely impressive 3-1 victory. Fankaty Dabo also had one of his best games in a Vitesse shirt, which will be a huge boost considering new acquisition Vyacheslav Karavaev is knocking on the door for a start.

Marco van Ginkel started for PSV in wins against Twente and PEC Zwolle, but missed this weekend’s game through suspension after accumulating five yellow cards.

Cristian Cuevas has been a consistent starter for FC Twente, who’ve picked up fewer points in the league than their position, 17th.

BELGIUM:

Victorien Angban has started all of Waasland-Beveren’s matches after serving his suspension, and even scored on the stroke of half-time in a 1-2 win against Royal Antwerp.

PORTGUAL:

Nathan has made two appearances for Beleneses so far. One was a 9-minute cameo against Benfica, in which he scored to salvage a draw for his side at the death and the other was a start against Vitoria Setubal, in which he played 57 minutes.

RUSSIA:

Mario Pasalic and Spartak Moscow are still on winter break, but will return to action in the Europa League on Thursday, against Athletic Bilbao.

SERBIA:

Similarly, Danilo Pantic and Partizan Beograd will break their winter hibernation to take on Viktoria Plzen in the Europa League.

TURKEY:

Kenneth Omeruo played all of Kasimpasa’s games following the winter break. They currently sit 11th in the Turkish Super Lig table.

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