PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Ryan Bertrand of Chelsea during the Pre Season Friendly match between Portsmouth and Chelsea at Fratton Park on July 16, 2011 in Portsmouth, England. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)
I doubt anyone who reads this site regularly is overly surprised that I'm slacking off from work to watch the Chelsea reserve team play, and the first half has been interesting to say the least. Patrick Van Aanholt has been running rampant, Jacob Mellis scored off of a beautiful 75 yard Sam Hutchinson pass, and Kaby Djalo, Billy Clifford, and Todd Kane have been fairly impressive as well. The most interesting part of this game, however, probably happened during the halftime break. Chelsea TV interviewed sporting director Michael Emenalo at half time, and I'll briefly summarize what he had to say in bullet point form:
- Josh McEachran will be part of the first team this year. He will not be sent out on loan as he's "one of the big boys" now
- Gael Kakuta has been getting a rest since returning from the U20 World Cup as he's suffering from some fatigue. Emenalo expects a loan deal for Kakuta to be announced in the very near future.
- Ryan Bertrand and Patrick van Aanholt are both likely capable backups for Ashley Cole right now in the club's eyes, but Emenalo feels that they both would benefit from at least 20-25 games of high level first team football. Expect, therefore, to hear loan deals for one or both in the coming days. No word on whether or not those will be for the full season, but I'd be surprised if either was done without an injury recall included.
While Emenalo never directly addressed Pereira, the fact that both Van Aanholt and Bertrand are expected to be sent out on loan one final time would leave us dreadfully short of cover at the left back position. Even with the addition of Juan Mata, some extra cover on the left hand side seems to make loads more sense now than it did this morning. While this also wasn't addressed, I'd assume that one of the two young left backs will be staying with the club if we fail to land Pereira.