Premier League side Chelsea have been known for loaning out several of their young players to clubs in the EFL in recent years, producing several talented players from their academy over the years.
However, their development has often been aided by sides in the second, third and four tiers of English football – and a notorious example of this is current England international Mason Mount – who benefitted richly from a loan spell at Derby County during the 2018/19 season before making his full first-team breakthrough at Stamford Bridge the following season.
And Thomas Tuchel will be keeping one eye on those currently spending time away from west London with some of those away on temporary spells potentially able to force their way into the German’s first-team plans during pre-season in a couple of months.
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This will have a direct impact on their transfer strategy in terms of who they need to recruit and who perhaps can be offloaded, so it will be fascinating to see whether a player from the EFL can be a regular for the Champions League winners next season.
The emergence of former Huddersfield Town loanee Trevoh Chalobah this term will certainly provide hope for those away on temporary spells – but how have they managed to get on during the 2021/22 campaign?
We take a closer look below.
Taking a look at the player who has probably impressed the most during his spell away from Stamford Bridge, Levi Colwill has thrived at Huddersfield Town this term and has attracted interest from the likes of Everton and Leicester City.
It would be no surprise to see him involved in the Blues’ first team next term if he continues in the same vein – and has already sealed the Terriers’ place in the play-offs with their defence forming a crucial part of Carlos Coberan’s side’s promotion challenge.
Tino Anjorin hasn’t been able to make the same impact at the John Smith’s Stadium, making just five league appearances for the West Yorkshire outfit thus far.
Speaking of sides that have performed above expectations, Jake Clarke-Salter and Ian Maatsen have proved to be real assets for the Sky Blues and although the former is out for the rest of the season with an injury setback, the latter has continued to be a real asset, especially going forward with three goals in 39 second-tier appearances this term.
Another successful loanee from this season is Hull City’s Nathan Baxter, who has endured a real tussle for a starting spot with Matt Ingram, but has fully earned his place in the first 11 and was a key player in turning the Tigers’ season around in November.
Shota Arveladze’s men want to pursue a permanent deal – and it wouldn’t be a shock if they were able to negotiate a longer-term agreement.
Two players who are unlikely to be moving to their current parent side for the longer-term though are Danny Drinkwater and Baba Rahman, with their respective wage demands likely too high for Reading.
The former has really shown his worth in recent months though after struggling in parts during his temporary spell – and Rahman has been an integral asset when available – though he will be frustrated by the fact his season has been disrupted by the African Cup of Nations and a hamstring injury.
In Lancashire, meanwhile, Dujon Sterling has enjoyed a semi-fruitful season at Blackpool who were reasonably impressive following their promotion to the second tier at the end of last term, but he has been ruled out of action this month with ankle ligament damage. He could potentially return before the end of the season though.
Another full-back in Juan Castillo will be extremely unhappy with his lack of progress though, suffering with too many fitness issues at first at Birmingham City during the first half of the season to be involved frequently before dropping down to the third tier with Charlton Athletic in January. He hasn’t endured much success at the Valley though, making just two league appearances for Johnnie Jackson’s men.
Fellow Addick Mason Burstow was purchased by the Blues’ in January after seeing him make his breakthrough at the third-tier side, but has failed to score since that month and has spent much of his time on the bench since mid-March.
Staying in League One, Henry Lawrence will be gutted he hasn’t been able to make more of an impact for AFC Wimbledon who look like they are heading down to the fourth tier of English football, but that likely relegation has been no reflection of the 20-year-old who has been one of their better performers when he hasn’t been injured.
At the other end of the division, shot-stopper Jamie Cumming is perhaps relieved to have made the mid-season switch from relegation-threatened Gillingham to promotion-chasing MK Dons, being one of the first names on the teamsheet at both sides this season and impressing at both clubs.