MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 26: Thibaut Courtois of Atletico Madrid reacts during the La Liga match between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona at Vicente Calderon Stadium on February 26, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Chelsea currently have a frankly silly number of players on loan. With the departures of Michael Essien, Yossi Benayoun, Nathaniel Chalobah, Thorgan Hazard and Amin Affane on deadline day, the Blues raised the number of loanees to an incredible 23.
And it's not like these are bad players, either. Thibaut Courtois is the starting goalkeeper for a team that just battered us, Kevin de Bruyne plays regularly for Werder Bremen, Romelu Lukaku is absolutely destroying all that stand in his path and Michael Essien's good enough to be signed by Real Madrid. All of which got me to wondering whether I could build a legitimately decent starting eleven just from our loanees. Turns out you can!
And here's how it looks...
Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid)
Left back: Patrick van Aanholt (Vitesse Arnhem)
Centre back: Tomas Kalas (Vitesse Arnhem)
Centre back: Jeffrey Bruma (Hamburg)
Right back: Sam Hutchinson (Nottingham Forest)
Central midfield: Michael Essien (Real Madrid)
Central midfield: Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford)
Left attacking midfield: Kevin de Bruyne (Werder Bremen)
Central attacking midfield: Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough)
Right attacking midfield: Yossi Benayoun (West Ham United)
Centre forward: Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion)
Aaand the reserves: Sam Walker (Bristol Rovers), Matej Delac (Vitoria SC), Kenneth Omeruo (ADO Den Haag), Rohan Ince (Yeovil Town), Archange Nkumu (Yeovil Town), Ben Gordon (Birmingham City), Conor Clifford (Portsmouth), Gael Kakuta (Vitesse Arnhem), Ulises Davila (Sabadell), Milan Lalkovic (Vitoria SC), Thorgan Hazard (Zulte Waregem), Amin Affane (Roda JC).
A little bit weak defensively, perhaps, but that's a decent midfield and a very good attack. I honestly don't think this team would get relegated. And they're our loanees!