Young Chelsea defender Jake Clarke-Slater was expected to head overseas on loan this season, but the deadline has come and gone and he’s still with the team (reserves). It would appear that he favors a move a little closer to home than either Belgium or, especially, Turkey.
Given that the transfer window is open for another eight days for the Football League (EFL; i.e. divisions 2-4), the 23-year-old center back has every chance of making that a reality, and becoming the 30th member of the Loan Army.
Recent reports have had him linked with Birmingham City, Sheffield Wednesday, and Huddersfield Town, but perhaps the place where they’re keeping the closest eye on things is at Derby County. The Rams reportedly believe that they just might have an edge over the other potential suitors given the recent loan deals with Chelsea, not to mention Frank Lampard himself.
Clarke-Salter, who has two years left on Chelsea contract, did alright at Birmingham City last year and even better at Vitesse the year before, so another loan at that same level of competition would be disappointing in terms of progression. Then again, at 23, he’s perhaps found his level, at least for now.