Fear the Kraken!
It's time for our weekly look at how Chelsea's players on loan performed, and there were some very good showings this week. Here's the rundown:
- Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion): I don't think there is much that I could write that would do this kid justice after this weekend's destruction of Sunderland. Everything that Chelsea were not this weekend, Romelu Lukaku was. He scored a pair, had one called back, and probably could have had one or two more. The more I see of him, the more I am convinced that there is absolutely no reason that he should be loaned out again next year. Yes, he is still developing. That doesn't alter the fact that he'd already be the best striker at Chelsea based on where he's currently at.
- Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid): Courtois got to watch from the bench as Atletico were knocked out of the Europa League, but got his usual start against Espanyol. He kept a relatively quiet clean sheet, as Espanyol did very little to test him.
- Michael Essien (Real Madrid): Essien started and put in about an hour against Deportivo La Coruna, but was taken off for Cristiano Ronaldo as Madrid were still looking for goals. He continues to play fairly well for his "daddy", although he's certainly not the Bison that we all remember at his Chelsea best.
- Lucas Piazon (Malaga): Piazon made a pair of short cameos this week against FC Porto and Real Betis. He didn't have much of an impact on either game, but he didn't look at all out of place in them either. If nothing else, Manuel Pellegrini seems fairly comfortable using him.
- Kevin De Bruyne (Werder Bremen): Poor Kevin De Bruyne had to face the machine that is Bayern Munich this past week, although he was probably the only member of his squad that shouldn't be holding his head in shame after the 6-1 loss the the Bavarian side. He scored his team's only goal, and was easily the most threatening non-Bayern player on the pitch. As the game wore on, he was clearly trying to force his passes into space that just wasn't there, but that's something not uncommon in younger players when facing giant deficits.
- Jeffrey Bruma (Hamburger SV): Bruma was not involved this weekend, although I haven't seen any report on the reason for his absence. The Hamburg defense looked awful in his absence though.
- Matej Delac (Inter Zapresic): Delac continues to start, and played well enough in a 2-2 draw with Slovan Belupo.
- Tomas Kalas (Vitesse Arnhem): Tomas Kalas was back to his usual self this week, playing very well in the club's 5-3 victory over Heracles. He covered a ton of ground, and is really starting to look more comfortable when he joins in the attack.
- Patrick van Aanholt (Vitesse Arnhem): PvA continues to be the best left back in the Eredivise, and was very heavily involved in the Vitesse attack this week. He's doing a fine job of doing so while still playing his part in the defense, and he's probably making Chelsea think long and hard about what to do with him next season.
- Gael Kakuta (Vitesse Arnhem): Kakuta is still dealing with a minor injury, and was not available this weekend.
- Kenneth Omeruo (ADO Den Haag): Omeruo was back in the starting lineup against Ajax, playing his usual right back role for the club despite doing so well in the center during the CAN. He was exceptional in the surprising 1-1 draw with the title challengers, as Den Haag continue to push for a spot in the Europa League playoff places.
- Amin Affane (Roda JC): Affane was not involved in this weekend's game for Roda, and there are reports in the Netherlands of some issues Between the young Swede and the coaching staff. It sounds as if he's likely to spend the near future getting the Florent Malouda treatment, and it's not clear if he will be a part of the Roda first team again.
- Thorgan Hazard (Zulte-Waregem): Hazard got an unexpected weekend off due to snow.
- Wallace (Fluminense): Did not play this week.
- Cristian Cuevas (O'Higgins): Did not play this week.
- Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough): Remember all of that talk about resting Josh McEachran earlier this month? He started another pair of games this week, as Boro continue to look for ways to break out of their slump. Tony Mowbray has moved Josh back to the middle of the midfield, deploying him as the deepest midfielder in an Ancelotti-esque diamond. He looked quite good in the 0-0 draw that I got to see midweek, and by all accounts he was solid again in the 2-1 loss over the weekend.
- Sam Hutchinson (Nottingham Forest): There was some good news for Hutchinson fans this week, as he is finally getting close to a return from injury. That said, there is still no game action to report on this week.
- Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford): Chalobah seems to be hitting his best form at the right time of the season. He was exceptional in both of Watford's wins this week, and actually found the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season on Tuesday. With the six points this past week, Watford have now moved into second place in the Championship.
- Ulises Davila (CE Sabadell): Davila has his hand in a cast following surgery, and was named to the bench over the weekend for Sabadell. He came on in the second half, and reportedly looked pretty good in that cameo appearance.
- Patrick Bamford (MK Dons): Bamford is reportedly very close to a return, and may be available for the bench before the next loan roundup comes out. i'd be surprised if he sees a lot of minutes right away though, as being cautious with his hamstring makes an awful lot of sense.
- Sam Walker (Colchester United): Walker followed up a fairly solid series of outings with an absolute nightmare this weekend. He was terrible in the 5-1 loss to Tranmere, as were pretty much everyone in the defense. These things happen to young keepers, so hopefully it's just a one time thing and not the start of a run of poor form.
- Billy Clifford (Colchester United): Clifford had a better game than Walker, providing the assist for the lone Colchester goal. Other than that, it was a pretty quiet game from Clifford.
- Jhon Pirez (Leganes): Pirez still exists, but he was an unused substitute in Leganes' game this weekend.