LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 02: Romelu Lukaku of Belgium and Joleon Lescott of England compete for the ball during the international friendly match between England and Belgium at Wembley Stadium on June 2, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
So these things just take forever to write now. After the jump you can find a lot of words and a lot of video summing up the week that was for Chelsea's players who are out on loan. The scary part is that this is likely to get longer, as most of these teams only had a single game this week.
Those of you that are really following along will notice that I have not included James Ashton or Ismail Seremba, who have been loaned to Charlton and Bristol respectively. Neither have yet debuted, and I'd be surprised if either gets more than a look at the U21 ranks while away. It's amazing how difficult it's getting to get all of Chelsea's youth minutes at Cobham, we're now to the point that we have to loan players to other U21 sides just to get them on the pitch.
- Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion): Lukaku came on at the start of the second half in a 3-0 to Fulham, and he had himself another solid showing. He had one shot that drew a save, won two of his three aerial battles, and did not misplace a single pass. He does need to protect the ball better when he's driving into the box though, as he was dispossessed three times. Steve Clarke has been impressed with him, and he figures to get a start in the near future as Peter Odemwingie sits out three games after a straight red for violent conduct.
- Yossi Benayoun (West Ham United): Yossi made his Hammer debut in the 87th minute. He managed three more touches in that time than he'll likely get for Chelsea in the future.
- Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid): The Belgian number one had very little to do for the first 81 minutes of the game, but then the Atletico defense decided to take the rest of the night off. The 4-0 lead quickly became a 4-3 narrow victory, but there was really nothing Courtois could have done with any of the goals.
- Michael Essien (Real Madrid): Essien was an unused substitute as Real Madrid lost to Sevilla. With the loss, Real Madrid are now eight points behind Barcelona. The La Liga title race may already be over.
- Kevin De Bruyne (Werder Bremen): De Bruyne played in a central midfield role, and he was absolutely fantastic in Werder's 3-2 loss. The Tintin look-alike touched the ball 65 times in his central role and completed 79% of his passes. Oh yeah, he scored a goal as well.
- Jeffrey Bruma (Hamburger SV): Like Bremen, HSV lost 3-2 over the weekend. Jeffrey Bruma played the full 90 at right back, and he was by far the best of the HSV defender. With that being said, he still didn't have a particularly great game and was largely responsible for the first goal. Bruma is a more than capable defender on the right, but he just doesn't offer all that much to the attack. Video "highlights" can be found here.
- Milan Lalkovic (Vitoria SC): Liga Sagres had only a single fixture scheduled this weekend, so Vitoria scheduled a friendly. Lalkovic got the start, played the full 90, scored a goal and assisted another. Yay Milan!
- Matej Delac (Vitoria SC): Delac was on the bench for the Vitoria friendly, but he did not play.
- Tomas Kalas (Vitesse Arnhem): Tomas Kalas played all of last season in the center of the defense, but he made his second straight appearance for Vitesse at right back over the weekend. Shockingly enough, he's a pretty excellent right back. He scored a goal in this one, the second senior goal of his career.
- Patrick van Aanholt (Vitesse Arnhem): PvA didn't want to be outdone by the other Chelsea fullback playing for Vitesse, so he had an outstanding game of his own and assisted on a pair of goals. He may have been the best player on the pitch, but that didn't stop one of the worst refereeing decisions I've ever see from landing him in the books.
- Gael Kakuta (Vitesse Arnhem): Kakuta did not play as he was nursing a slight injury, but to make him feel included, I'll put the Vitesse highlights here.
- Kenneth Omeruo (ADO Den Haag): Omeruo took his usual starting place on the right hand side of the defense, and as usual he was very impressive in the 3-1 victory. He added an assist in the away win for Den Haag, and was all over the right side of the pitch. With as poorly as the Nigerian national team has looked recently, you'd have to think that Omeruo is making his way onto the radar. The again, I almost hope Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi is never allowed anywhere near the young defender.
- Amin Affane (Roda JC): Affane got his first start for Roda, and he was very good in the 4-0 loss to AZ Alkmaar. The talent gap between the two clubs is pretty immense, so it will be interesting to see how Affane looks when the game is a little more competitive.
- Thorgan Hazard (Zulte-Waregem): Hazard played in an advanced midfield role over the weekend, and he was very, very good for Zulte. I think it's fairly likely that he's going to be one of the better players in the Belgian League by the end of this season.
- Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough): Josh started again for Middlesbrough, and he had what was likely his best game since joining on loan. As usual, he was very calm and composed in possession. What stood out for me on the weekend, though, was his work in defense. He found himself in the perfect spot to intercept the ball on a few occasions, and his tackling looked pretty good as well.
- Sam Hutchinson (Nottingham Forest): Hutch started again at right back for Nottingham Forest, and he looked pretty good in doing so. It's nice to see that his knee injuries of the past don't seem to be affecting his play this season. The regular minutes appear to be helping his fitness considerably, and he's been much more active than he ever was for Chelsea last season.
- Ben Gordon (Birmingham City): For the second straight weekend, Gordon did not play for Birmingham. Gordon will be out of contract at the end of this season, and if he can't beat out David Murphy for minutes it would seem unlikely he'll ever have a use at Chelsea. It's time to start impressing in training Ben...
- Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford): Chalobah was named to the bench, but he went unused by Gianfranco Zola's side on the weekend.
- Ulises Davila (CE Sabadell): Davila played a pair of games and Davila scored in the first. He scored the opener as Sabadell beat Hercules 2-0, and then came off the bench as Sabadell came back to beat Real Madrid B 3-2. He looks very good so far this season.
- Archange Nkumu (Yeovil Town):Nkumu was an unused substitute this past weekend for Yeovil Town. I'd expect to see him return to Chelsea shortly.
- Rohan Ince (Yeovil Town): Ince was also unused on the weekend, but in Ince's case it's a bit of a surprise. Hopefully he'll be back on the pitch for the next roundup.
- Conor Clifford (Portsmouth): Clifford was an unused substitute on the bench, and his one-month loan is winding down. He hasn't forced his way into regular minutes yet, so it would be a surprise if the loan is extended.
- Sam Walker (Bristol Rovers): Walker is getting plenty of work at Bristol, as his defense might be the worst in any of the top four divisions of English football. He let in four that he couldn't have done much about in the defeat to Gillingham, but honestly it could have been so much worse. At least he's getting lot's of work on his shot stopping.
- Jhon Pirez (Leganes): Pirez appears to be injured. Anyone surprised?