Our weekly look at how our youngsters (and Essien) are doing
This was a quieter week than usual, as quite a few of Chelsea's loanees started out on the bench due to injury or illness. There was still plenty to talk about though, so why don't we get right to it...
- Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion): Lukaku hs been in fine form of late, but this weekend saw a much quieter outing than we've come to expect from the Belgian. He played 75 minutes against Stoke City, and struggled a bit against their deep lying and very physical defense. As is typical of any Stoke game, this one was far from pleasing to the eye.
- Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid): It was a fairly quiet weekend for Courtois, as he managed to keep another clean sheet against Osasuna. There's just not a whole lot more to say about him at this point that hasn't already been said.
- Michael Essien (Real Madrid): Essien was not involved in any matches this past week.
- Lucas Piazon (Malaga): Piazon came on in the final minutes of Malaga's Champions League win over Porto, and was relatively solid as they looked to hold on. He followed that up with a solid but unspectacular 61 minutes against Espanyol, in which he didn't make many mistakes but didn't really create much either.
- Kevin De Bruyne (Werder Bremen): De Bruyne continued his recent excellent form, although his club are still a terrible side. His decision making was very good in the 2-2 draw, and he's really been displaying a knack for putting in loads of fantastic crosses of late. This week saw him fire in 17, with 7 of them finding their mark.
- Jeffrey Bruma (Hamburger SV): Bruma again got a start, and had a pretty good showing in HSV's 1-0 loss this weekend. Now that he's seeing fairly regular minutes again, he's been looking very good.
- Matej Delac (Inter Zapresic): Delac played very well during a 0-0 draw this weekend, and is showing less signs of rust of late. There were one or two odd decisions in this weekend's showing, but on the whole it was very good.
- Tomas Kalas, Patrick van Aanholt, Gael Kakuta (Vitesse Arnhem): All three Chelsea players started against ADO den Haag, as Vitesse won comfortably 4-0. The fullbacks were both solid on the offensive end and largely untested in their own half, while Gael Kakuta had a few highlight reel passes and added an assist to his tally.
- Kenneth Omeruo (ADO Den Haag): After being used in an odd role last weekend to deal with Jozy Altidore's physical threat, Omeruo was deployed as a center back to help deal with Wilfried Bony this weekend. The young Nogerian struggled a bit, and it was a largely forgettable day for him.
- Amin Affane (Roda JC): Affane has returned to Chelsea, so this will be the last time we see him in the loan roundup.
- Thorgan Hazard (Zulte-Waregem): Hazard played 45 solid minutes this past weekend as Zulte concluded the initial portion of their schedule. For those that don't follow Belgian football much, the top six teams now break off and play home and away against the rest of the group as they close out their season. From a development standpoint, this means Hazard should have some tougher competition during the run-in than he has been seeing during the first part of the season.
- Wallace (Fluminense): Wallace finally featured for Flu this weekend, although he was relatively quiet during the game.
- Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough): McEachran was still dealing with the effects of the flu, and started Boro's game on the bench. He'd come on in the second half, and Boro were notably better when he entered the contest.
- Sam Hutchinson (Nottingham Forest): Still not fit enough to play 90 minutes, Hutch was an unused substitute this weekend.
- Todd Kane (Blackburn Rovers): Kane jumped straight into the Blackburn starting lineup after re-joining the side this week, and had an excellent outing in a 1-1 draw. His role going forward will interesting to watch though, as Rovers just made a managerial change.
- George Saville (Millwall): Saville made a pair of Millwall benches this week, but remained there for the duration of both matches.
- Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford): Chalobah was limited to a bench role due to injury, but he was still healthy enough for a second half run. Like McEachran and Boro, Watford were clearly a better side in Chalobah's time on the pitch.
- Ulises Davila (CE Sabadell): Davila started this weekend against Hercules, but didn't play particularly well in the 3-1 loss.
- Patrick Bamford (MK Dons): Bamford was finally healthy enough to start this weekend, and played very well in about 75 minutes of action. He'll be an interesting one to watch as the season winds down.
- Sam Walker, Billy Clifford (Colchester United): The duo both continue to start regularly for Colchester, with both adding another pair of starts this week. Walker made up for a poor game last weekend with a pair of excellent showings this week, and Clifford added another assist to his resume as he continues to become one of the most important players on that squad. Colchester are a much, much better team since the pair arrived, and look like they have a good chance of avoiding relegation now.
- Jhon Pirez (Leganes): Pirez started this weekend on the bench, and came on as a time-wasting sub for a few minutes of action. It was too short an outing to take much away from.