2nd September, 2015
Mail Online – When Nathaniel Chalobah signed a season-long loan deal with Serie A club Napoli in the closing hours of the transfer deadline Chelsea’s tally of players on their books but strewn across Europe reached an incredible 33.
That’s three full starting elevens that are surplus to Jose Mourinho’s requirements propping up clubs from as far west as northeastern Turkey, east to the Portuguese coast and north to Edinburgh after the arrival of 19-year-old Scottish forward Islam Feruz at Hibernian.
There are 10 Chelsea players plying their trade within Britain, four in Belgium (including three at Sint-Truidense V.V) and five in Italy, the same amount as at Dutch club Vitesse alone.
Among a total of seven moves in the last 48 hours of the window, Michael Hector and Lucas Piazon joined former Blues player and coach Steve Clarke at Reading, Jeremie Boga went to Ligue 1’s Rennes and Victor Moses joined Alex Song and Nikica Jelavic among West Ham’s big-name additions.
They add to big names such as Juan Cuadrado at Juventus and Mo Salah at Roma to rising stars including Patrick Bamford at Crystal Palace who have been shipped across the continent to have a chance at getting game time.
Some of the players even die-hard Chelsea fans would not recognise if they passed them on the street – Ulises Davila, anyone? Although that wouldn’t happen unless you were crossing the road in Setubal, Portugal, anyway.
Here is the full list of Chelsea’s players who will spend this next non-loan period away from Stamford Bridge.
Juan Cuadrado (winger) – Juventus, Italy
Only James Rodriguez made a bigger impression than Cuadrado during Colombia’s exciting run at the World Cup in Brazil, leading Chelsea to splash out over £23m on the skilful 27-year-old in February. But after a miserable six months at the club during which he has barely had a kick for the first team, Cuadrado has been bombed out on loan to the Italian giants.
Michael Hector (centre-back) to Reading
As soon as 23-year-old Hector signed a five-year-contract to move from Reading to Chelsea, he has been shipped back to Madejski Stadium where he’s threatening to become an important cog for Clarke and captained the side for the first time last week. A childhood Chelsea supporter, the centre-back rose from Millwall youth team before joining Reading in 2009. The same club will be his 12th loan club after spells from Bracknell Town to Barnett and Aberdeen led up to his 2014 debut as a 21-year-old. Started all three of Jamaica’s Copa America matches this summer.
Lucas Piazon (forward) – Reading
The Brazilian forward spent last campaign at Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga, where he appeared 23 times, and will add some flair to Clarke’s line-up at Reading. Still just 21, he joined Chelsea in January 2012 from Sao Paulo and in that time Malaga and Chelsea favourite Vitesse Arnhem, where there are five Blues at present. Although he only scored twice last season and has just one Chelsea appearance to his name, he’s spoken of his desire to impress in England.
Cristian Manea – Mouscron, Belgium
Chelsea fancied the 18-year-old Romanian starlet’s work at Viitorul Constanța, the club he went through the youth ranks until making the senior team on a regular basis in 2014-15. They have forked out £2.3m to send him to Belgium on loan for the season. Manea, a zippy right back, has played at every age level for his country and won his first full senior international cap with just five club games to his name.
Nathaniel Chalobah – Napoli, Italy
The midfielder has been ear-marked for big things since puberty, with his England Under 16 debut coming at age 13. He was the last of Chelsea’s arsenal of young stars to be moved on this window with Serie A giants Napoli taking him on after spells with relegated Burnley and then Reading in either half of last season. Napoli, where he’ll wear the No 94 shirt, in the England Under 21’s sixth loan club.
Mo Salah (winger) – AS Roma, Italy
The Egypt international earned an £11m move to Stamford Bridge in the best way possible, making a strong impression during pacy, skilful and direct displays against the club in the Champions League for Basle. But since February 2014 he has disappeared off the radar, making just 19 appearances for Chelsea and being offloaded to Fiorentina last season and now Roma.
Patrick Bamford (striker) – Crystal Palace, England
With 17 goals for Middlesbrough last season, Bamford set the Championship alight and marked himself out as a player of real potential. The 21-year-old from Grantham will have to prove he can cut it in the Premier League at Palace before he gets a chance in Mourinho’s first-team squad, however.
Victor Moses – West Ham
The 24-year-old winger signed a new four-year deal with the Blues before being sent across London to West Ham on the same day Slaven Bilic welcomed back Alex Song and added Nikica Jelavic to his striker power. Good enough for the Premier League with previous loan stints at Stoke and Liverpool, just not for Jose on a long-term basis yet. Nigerian international Moses has made 44 appearances for Chelsea since from Wigan in 2012.
Islam Feruz – Hibernian
Another teen forward still finding his feet, Islam Feruz gets to return to Scotland after previous loans at OFI Crete and Blackpool. A Celtic youth product before joining Chelsea in 2011, the 19-year-old Feruz won a senior cap in 2013 against a Malaysia XI and signed a new long-term senior contract last year before going to Greece. What he lacks in height, he’s 5ft 4in, Somalia-born Feruz makes up for in speed off the mark and an elusive turn.
Jeremie Boga (attacking midfielder) – Stade Rennais
An integral figure in Chelsea’s UEFA Youth League and FA Youth Cup campaigns, Jeremie Boga gets his chance at first-team football in his home country France. The 18-year-old attacking midfielder from Ivory Coast joins Ligue 1’s Rennes, who have an option to buy.
Matej Delac (goalkeeper) – FK Sarajevo, Bosnia
The Bosnian-born keeper, who has represented Croatia through the youth ranks, perhaps sums up what it means to be a fringe member of the Chelsea squad in the Roman Abramovich era. Having signed in 2010, the now 23-year-old has been sent out on loan to Vitesse Arnhem in Holland, Dynamo Ceske Budejovice in the Czech Republic, Vitoria de Guimaraes in Portugal, Inter Zapresic in Croatia, FK Vojvodina in Serbia, Sarajevo in his homeland, Arles-Avignon in France, and now back to Bosnia. His sum total of Chelsea appearances? Zero.
Tomas Kalas (defender) – Middlesbrough, England
The Czech is forging a reputation as a highly-promising right back on loan at Middlesbrough, where he excelled for Aitor Karanka last season, and will spend this year at the Riverside too. But then you would expect no less from a player who cost £5.2million five years ago at the age of just 17. Chances at Chelsea have been limited, but he could one day force his way through.
Andreas Christensen (defender) – Borussia Monchengladbach, Germany
The future looks bright for the tall centre back, who has already won two caps for Denmark. But with the likes of John Terry, Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic and Kurt Zouma at the club, plus John Stones seemingly on his way, it is hard to see when Christensen will win a place at the heart of the Blues’ star-studded defence.
Kenneth Omeruo (defender) – Kasimpasa, Turkey
A member of the Nigeria team that won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, Omeruo also played in every match for his country at the World Cup last year. Yet it is tough to see him ever claiming a first-team spot at Chelsea, with the centre of defence packed so full of top-quality players. The 21-year-old impressed on loan at Middlesbrough last season before being sent to Turkey.
Alex Davey (defender) – Peterborough United, England
Born in Hertfordshire but a Scotland Under 19 international, Davey helped Chelsea win the FA Youth Cup in 2012. The 20-year-old is another tough-tackling, tall centre half on the Blues’ books, meaning competition will be fierce. He also spent time on loan at Scunthorpe United last season.
Cristian Cuevas (defender) – Sint-Truidense VV, Belgium
Snapped up from the superbly-named O’Higgins club in Chile two years ago, the left-sided defender has so far got no closer to the Chelsea team than a place on the bench. He has since been sent on loan to Vitesse Arnhem and FC Eindhoven in Holland, Universidad de Chile in his homeland, and now to Belgium.
Wallace (defender) – Carpi, Italy
Signed from Fluminense in January 2013, Wallace has rarely been seen at Chelsea since. He was immediately sent back to his former club before heading off to Inter Milan the following summer. The Brazilian’s chances were limited at the San Siro, as they were at Vitesse Arnhem last season. Now with newly-promoted Carpi in Serie A, his chances of success at Chelsea look slim to none.
Todd Kane (defender) – NEC Nijmegen, Holland
No relation to Tottenham namesake Harry, Kane is a right back noted for his pace and was good enough to hold down a first-team place on loan at Blackburn Rovers in the Championship in the 2012-13 season. Injury has halted the former Chelsea Under 21 captain’s progress, and at the age of 21 he is heading off for the fifth loan spell of his career.
Nathan Ake (midfielder) – Watford, England
With his distinctive dreadlocks and Dutch football schooling, Ake draws easy comparisons with Chelsea legend Ruud Gullit. Having made just a handful of first-team appearances so far, Ake has a long way to go to live up to that comparison. But after going on loan to Reading last season, Chelsea will hope the 20-year-old continues his development in the Premier League this year.
Jordan Houghton (midfielder) – Gillingham, England
Born in Chertsey, down the road from Chelsea’s training ground in Cobham, the England Under 20 midfielder has been at the club’s academy since the age of eight. A combative presence in the middle of the park, he helped Chelsea to FA Youth Cup glory under Adi Viveash. The 19-year-old will hope to push on at League One high-fliers Gillingham this season.
Marco van Ginkel (midfielder) – Stoke City, England
Represents one of a very rare breed: a footballer who has moved from Vitesse Arnhem to Chelsea, and not the other way round. The £8m box-to-box midfielder’s progress since his move in 2013 was stalled by a serious knee injury but the 22-year-old is good enough to have played on loan at AC Milan last season and to have won two Holland caps.
Mario Pasalic (midfielder) – AS Monaco, Monaco
A German-born Croatia international who admits his favourite player is Frank Lampard. If Pasalic can come anywhere near to replicating the former England star’s knack for goals from midfield, he will not spend too much more time away from Stamford Bridge. After impressing in La Liga at Elche last term, a big loan move to Monaco was secured this season for the 20-year-old.
Lewis Baker (midfielder) – Vitesse Arnhem, Holland
The Luton-born 20-year-old is heading for his third loan spell of the calendar year having been sent to Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons last season. Mourinho has tipped Baker to become an England international under his management and even awarded the midfielder a title winner’s medal last season, despite him not playing a single minute of the campaign.
Nathan (forward) – Vitesse Arnhem, Holland
The Brazilian went through what is becoming a fairly typical experience for modern Chelsea footballers: signed for £4.5m from Atletico Paranaense then sent out on loan just nine days later to Chelsea’s partner club, Vitesse Arnhem. He scored five goals in five games for Brazil at the Under 17 World Cup in 2013 but has achieved little else in the very early stages of his career.
Danilo Pantic (forward) – Vitesse Arnhem, Holland
Another youngster signed and immediately sent out on loan to Vitesse Arnhem. Pantic can play in a central attacking position or on the left wing but with just a handful of appearances for Partizan Belgrade, little else is known of this 18-year-old. He has captained Serbia Under 19s and already has Europa League experience with Partizan.
Ulises Davila (forward) – Vitoria Setubal, Portugal
Having been at Stamford Bridge for four years, never getting near the first team and spending time on loan at five different clubs, it is hard to see Davila ever breaking through into Mourinho’s plans. The former Mexico Under 23 international is now 24 years old and this footballing globetrotter has travelled to Vitesse Arnhem plus Spanish clubs Sabadell, Cordoba and Tenerife.
Victorien Angban (forward) – Sint-Truidense VV, Belgium
The 18-year-old Ivorian, who signed in January from Stade d’Abidjan in his homeland, has yet to be seen at Stamford Bridge but is said to be a box-to-box midfielder or a forward. Whether he ever emulates his compatriot Yaya Toure remains to be seen, but like the Manchester City star did earlier in his career, Angban will play in Belgium this year.
Marko Marin (winger) – Trabzonspor, Turkey
With 16 Germany caps to his name, successful spells at Borussia Monchengladbach and Werder Bremen behind him and dubbed the ‘German Messi’, Marin’s career was on the up and up. Until he joined Chelsea. The 26-year-old made just six appearances following his £7m move and has been sent out on loan four times – to Sevilla, Fiorentina, Anderlecht and Trabzonspor – with limited success at each club.
Christian Atsu (winger) – Bournemouth, England
Signed in 2011, Atsu has still not played a single first-team game for Chelsea despite already amassing 40 caps for Ghana. The 23-year-old has been shipped out on loan to Vitesse Arnhem, Everton and now Bournemouth and has played in the 2014 World Cup finals and the Champions League for Porto, where he won the Portuguese title. Yet still he has not broken through.
Isaiah Brown (winger) – Vitesse Arnhem, Holland
‘Izzy’ made his first-team debut for West Bromwich Albion before being snapped up by Chelsea and has since gone on to star as a goalscoring midfielder for the Under 21 side. He made his Chelsea debut against his former club last May and recently played against Southampton for Vitesse in the Europa League qualifiers.
Dominic Solanke (striker) – Vitesse Arnhem, Holland
A potential star of the future. The Basingstoke-born 17-year-old scored over 40 goals for Chelsea at youth level last season, helping the club lift the FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League in the process. The England Under 18 striker is the fifth Chelsea player sent on loan to Vitesse Arnhem this season and big things are expected.
Stipe Perica (striker) – Udinese, Italy
A Croatian striker, Perica has already bagged goals in Serie A having joined Udinese on loan last January. His goalscoring record on loan is far from impressive but the Italian club extended the 20-year-old’s deal into a long-term move, so he is unlikely to be seen back at Cobham any time soon.
Joao Rodriguez (striker) – Sint-Truidense VV, Belgium
An unknown quantity even to the most die-hard Chelsea supporter, the young Colombian emerged from the lower leagues in his homeland to secure a move to Chelsea. Now 19, he has spent time on loan at Bastia in France at Vitoria Setubal, and is the latest of Mourinho’s kids to join their Belgian partner club to continue his development.