A look in at the Chelsea youngsters (and old guys) out on loan.
We're about two months into the season now, so most of the youngsters on loan should have had plenty of time to settle. As usual, there was plenty of good to report on the loan front, so let's get right to it, shall we?
- Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion): Lukaku was again a late substitute as West Brom lost to Manchester City. The big Belgian did a number of things very well, such as positioning himself dangerously and getting on the end of chances. His finishing was a bit suspect though, which is unsurprising considering his age. All in all, it was another very promising effort.
- Yossi Benayoun (West Ham United): Yossi played this weekend in West Ham's 4-1 win, and he had an assist in the contest. Good for him.
- Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid): Courtois was absolutely fantastic over the weekend, as Atletico stayed tied with Barca at the top of the La Liga table. That makes me happy, because I really like this Atletico team and I really dislike Barcelona.
- Michael Essien (Real Madrid): Essien was generally excellent for Real this weekend, it was easily his best game of the season. Check out this article from Managing Madrid if you don't believe me.
- Kevin De Bruyne (Werder Bremen): This kid is just good. He's good enough for the Chelsea first team right now, and could be pushing for some serious playing time when he rejoins the club next season. KDB was excellent again as Werder crushed Borussia Moenchengladbach 4-0. His fantastic corner set up the first goal of the game, and statistically speaking it was a pretty fantastic game for him as well. He finished with 106 touches and a 92% passing accuracy, which is incredible for a player as aggressive as he tends to be.
- Jeffrey Bruma (Hamburger SV): Bruma was not involved as Hamburg lost to Stuttgart. It's a shame his injury coincided with a good run of form for HSV, because he's a better player than several of the guys starting over him at the moment.
- Milan Lalkovic (Vitoria SC): Lalkovic was rested during the cup tie over the weekend, but it's hard to read much into that. He's healthy, and he'll likely see some action next week.
- Matej Delac (Vitoria SC): He played! He finally played! Delac got a start in a cup game this weekend, and looked excellent in the 6-1 victory. The win assures a second cup game in the near future, which means I'll likely have another report featuring Delac. Hooray!
- Tomas Kalas (Vitesse Arnhem): Kalas was his usual excellent self this weekend, and he's really starting to take to the fullback position. He does look a better fit there than at centerback, as his physical tools are just better suited to the position.
- Patrick van Aanholt (Vitesse Arnhem): PvA continues to impress me with his work on both ends of the pitch, to the point where I'm again beginning to think he's got a real future at Chelsea. He's been far better defensively this season than at any point in the past, and there was never very much question about his ability to add to the attack.
- Gael Kakuta (Vitesse Arnhem): It looks like Gael spent a little too much time reading about his link to Anderlecht, because he was left out of the squad as punishment for being late to training. Ugh. Way to go Gael.
- Kenneth Omeruo (ADO Den Haag): Omeruo again started and played 90 solid minutes, and his physical tools always make me think of what could be in the future. He's certainly a long way from the Chelsea first team, but he's one to watch very closely going forward.
- Amin Affane (Roda JC): Affane continues to excel in a bench role, and he provided the game tying assist against Twente over the weekend. He played about 30 minutes, and looked very good in the process. It's good to see from a player I wasn't sure was ready for this aggressive assignment before the season started.
- Thorgan Hazard (Zulte-Waregem): The younger Hazard had a relatively uneventful contest in Zulte's 3-0 loss. It was probably his least effective performance since joining the club, but days like this will happen. Oh well, hopefully it's back to looking dangerous next week.
- Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough): Josh has been backing up his status as one of the brightest prospects at Chelsea with some steadily excellent play at Middlesbrough. He was solid again this weekend in about 75 minutes of action, as Boro defeated Brighton 1-0. Most Boro fans seem pleased with the way the midfield has been controlling games, and Josh has been a key.
- Sam Hutchinson (Nottingham Forest): Hutch is still out with injury, and it's becoming a concern. It doesn't look as if he's all that close to a return at this point.
- Ben Gordon (Birmingham City): Like Hutchinson, Ben Gordon is also injured at the moment. He picked up a knock playing for the U21 side, and it's been a while since we saw him with the first team. Don't be surprised if you see this loan spell ended before January.
- Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford): One of the saves of the weekend was all that kept Chalobah from netting his first professional goal over the weekend, as he's steadily showing that he might be the best player in the Championship already. I'm almost a bit excited that his loan is only until January, because he's playing well enough to contribute at the Premier League level right now. Here's the match report from Saturday.
- Ulises Davila (CE Sabadell): Davila again came on as a substitute, and his half hour of action was relatively uneventful. He did very little as far as creating chances this weekend, and Sabadell looked lethargic as a team.
- Sam Walker (Bristol Rovers): Walker continues to be the second choice keeper at Bristol.
- Jhon Pirez (Leganes): I'm beginning to think that Pirez doesn't actually exist after all. Maybe someday he'll challenge Fernando Torres for his job, but it won't be anytime soon.