Chelsea players on loan: How Tomori, Barkley and co. are performing
Chelsea have become synonymous with money, trophies and a vast army of loan players in recent years, with the West London side often being accused of hoarding promising young talent.
Although the Stamford Bridge outfit have transformed their reputation somewhat by rewarding the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Reece James with significant game time over the last 18 months or so, the Blues still possess an impressive array of talent that are plying their trade away from the club.
The likes of Fikayo Tomori and Ross Barkley were deemed either surplus to requirements or in need of first-team minutes by previous manager Frank Lampard, but with Thomas Tuchel now in the dugout of the capital club, the loanees will be hoping to earn a second chance with Chelsea.
Here is a rundown on how the players are faring:
Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan)
Tomori is a very highly-rated young defender and made a move to Italian giants AC Milan in January. The San Siro outfit are currently sitting in second place in the Serie A standings but have been struggling for form of late.
Their recent woes are no fault of the 23-year-old’s, though, with the former England under-21 international starting ahead of club-captain Alessio Romagnoli in the Rossoneri’s 2-1 win over Roma.
The youngster has incredible recovery pace while also excelling in the tackle and when in possession. Tomori could have a huge future in the game, but whether that lies at Chelsea or elsewhere is still unknown.
Milan and Chelsea agreed on an option to buy for £25 million, plus £5 million in add-ons, before Tomori arrived in Italy and, if his impressive performances continue then seven-time European champions will surely be tempted to stump up that fee.
Ross Barkley (Aston Villa)
Ross Barkley started his year-long loan with Aston Villa in fantastic fashion. The 27-year-old struck up an instant connection with compatriot Jack Grealish, and the two attacking midfielders fired the Villans towards the top of the Premier League table.
However, a hamstring injury forced the former Everton man to miss the whole of December, and he’s struggled to recapture his early-season form. Barkley’s bagged just one goal and provided no assists in nine Premier League outings since returning from injury, a record he’ll be determined to improve between now and the end of the campaign.
Dean Smith promised Barkley a place in Gareth Southgate’s Euro’s squad before he made the switch to Villa Park last summer, but he’ll have to have a dramatic turnaround in the final 13 games of the season for that to happen.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Fulham)
Fulham have shown remarkable levels of improvement throughout the campaign, and it was hoped Ruben Loftus-Cheek would experience something similar ahead of his stint at Craven Cottage.
The 25-year-old was in desperate need of first-team minutes before making the short journey across West London, and he’s managed to stay injury-free (so far), starting 19 Premier League games to date.
Nevertheless, Loftus-Cheek’s performance levels are yet to reach the heights that saw him form part of England’s 2018 World Cup squad, and just one goal and no assists attest to that. There’s still time yet for the midfielder – and Fulham – to salvage their season, and don’t be surprised if both instances occur.
Tiemoue Bakayoko (Napoli)
It’s easy to forget that Tiemoue Bakayoko is still a Chelsea player, and it’s fair to say his £40m move from Monaco to the Blues back in 2017 has been a disaster.
The France international is still only 26, though, and has previously enjoyed spells at AC Milan and previous club Monaco, with varying degrees of success. This year he’s found himself at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, where he’s made 33 appearances in all competitions for Gennaro Gattuso’s Napoli.
Gli Azzurri are currently sixth in Serie A, and Bakayoko has been a solid performer. It’s extremely unlikely that the defensive midfielder will get the chance to reignite his Chelsea career, but his displays across the continent will have done enough to ensure he gets a decent move in the summer.
Ethan Ampadu (Sheffield United)
It’s been an extremely disappointing season for everyone involved with Sheffield United, and in hindsight, Chelsea probably wouldn’t have sent Ethan Ampadu on loan to the South Yorkshire side had they known what was about to happen.
Chris Wilder’s men have suffered a from several serious injuries to key men, alongside a huge drop-off in form, that has resulted in the Blades being rooted to the foot of the Premier League table for the majority of the campaign.
It’s been hard for anyone to shine in a Blades shirt this season then, let alone a 20-year-old loanee looking to experience top-flight football for the first time. Despite this, Ampadu has still made 19 league starts so far for the Bramall Lane outfit and will have gained some valuable experience that should benefit him in the long run.
Michy Batshuayi (Crystal Palace)
After a breakthrough in Belgian and then French football at Standard Liege and Marseille respectively, big things were expected of striker Michy Batshuayi when he joined Chelsea in 2016.
However the forward has never really managed to break into the first team at Stamford Bridge and has subsequently been shipped out to loan moves at Valencia, Borussia Dortmund and now Crystal Palace.
The Premier League club may seem, to most, as an ideal station for Batshuayi but even there the Belgian international has found it hard to nail down a regular spot in Roy Hodgson’s first team and score enough goals to suggest he’s a Chelsea star in the making.
At 27 years of age Batshuayi still has time on his side but just one goal form 18 appearances for Palace this season hardly suggests the striker will be playing a big part in Tuchel’s squad next season.
Malang Sarr (Porto)
Having broke into the first team at Nice in the 2016/17 season, Malang Sarr was one of French football’s most exciting, defensive prospects before he joined Chelsea in 2020 on a five-year deal after moving to the club on a free transfer.
As is now quite common at the club, Chelsea immediately loaned the player out to another club to gain first team experience and it was decided that Sarr would make the short move south to Portugal and join Porto.
However, the French defender has struggled to really nail down a regular spot in Sergio Conceicao’s side since arriving last summer. To date the 22-year-old talent has managed just seven appearances in the league and is often left out of Porto’s matchday squad altogether.
After making a somewhat unexpected move to Chelsea from his boyhood club Fluminense in 2015, Brazilian winger Kenedy perhaps sums up the London club’s policy of signing young players with no intention of actually using them perfectly.
In the last five years Kenedy has played for Watford, Newcastle United, Getafed and now Granada all while making just 15 appearances for the club that pays his wages each and every week.
Despite that, the Brazilian is actually enjoying a tremendous season in La Liga. Played predominantly as a left or right winger, Kenedy has already bagged seven goals and five assists for one of Spanish football’s surprise packages this season and has perhaps finally found his level.
Other Chelsea players out on loan
|Victor Moses||Spartak Moscow|
|Jake Clarke-Salter||Birmingham City|
|Marco van Ginkel||PSV|
|Abdul Rahman Baba||PAOK Thessaloniki|
|Nathan Baxter||Accrington Stanley|