The 18 players returning to Chelsea from loan spells away
Chelsea have a habit of loaning out players, perhaps more so than any other club in world football.
Their model of hiring and firing managers, whilst buying players, loaning them out and eventually selling them, has worked a treat so far, and has delivered two Champions League triumphs since Roman Abramovich took the reigns.
However, for fans of the Stamford Bridge club, it does make it hard to remember exactly who is still at the club, and who has been sold.
Every pre-season, old faces return, before they are then loaned out again, or sold permanently.
With it being Thomas Tuchel's first pre-season at the club, Chelsea have kept hold of most of the returning loanees to allow the German to assess which players he does and doesn't like.
That method has come at the cost of young talents, with Myles Peart-Harris, and Lewis Bate both gone, Dynel Simeu now a free agent having rejected a new deal, and Valentino Livramento reportedly close to leaving as well.
Armando Broja has signed a new deal though, and Dujon Sterling is understood to have impressed Tuchel immensely.
However, which of Chelsea's loan stars have returned to Cobham for pre-season?
Which of Chelsea's pre-season squad have returned from loan spells?
A goalkeeper for Chelsea's U23 side, Jamie Cumming moved to Stevenage on loan last season, and played 41 times for the club in League Two. He kept a total of 17 clean sheets in the league, which was the fourth most in the entire division, despite Stevenage finishing 14th.
He started in Chelsea's behind-closed-doors win over Peterborough.
Trevoh Chalobah has returned to Chelsea after his third successive loan spell away. Having previously spent time at Ipswich and Huddersfield, the 22-year-old moved to Lorient in France for the 2020/21 season.
He made 24 starts in Ligue 1, and played a total of 30 games for the club in all competitions. A defensive midfielder, Chalobah scored twice and assisted a further two in the league, whilst also making 4.6 tackles and interceptions per 90.
He started in Chelsea's first pre-season friendly, against Peterborough, at centre-half.
The centre-back spent his second successive year on loan at Birmingham in the Championship in 2020/21, but made just nine league starts as he fell out of favour.
A starter against Peterborough, Clarke-Salter is unlikely to remain part of Tuchel's thinking.
Signed on a free last summer, Malang Sarr was highly rated at Nice, but his height was a stumbling block for many teams. Chelsea took the plunge before loaning him to Porto last year.
However, the centre-back made just eight appearances in the Portuguese top flight, whilst playing the same number of times for Porto's B side.
Being a left-footed centre-half, he could be a useful option, but yet again, his future is unknown.
Signed from the MLS back in 2016, Matt Miazga has been on five loan spells away from Stamford Bridge, with the most recent to Anderlecht in Belgium.
He made 30 Pro League starts, and was a regular for Vincent Kompany's side last campaign.
Abdul Baba Rahman
Signed to provide competition at left-back, Baba Rahman never made an impression at the club, and has suffered a similar fate to Miazga since signing.
He's been on loan to Germany, France, Spain and most recently Greece as he spent last year at PAOK. He made just 11 league starts, and despite grabbing an assist against Peterborough, he won't be part of the Premier League squad.
The Dutchman spent last year on loan at Charlton in League One, and is capable of playing anywhere down the left flank, or even at right-wing. He is traditionally a left-back, but was also deployed further forward last year.
All in all, Maatsen made 35 appearances for Charlton, scoring once and assisting three. He has returned to Cobham for pre-season, although didn't travel to the club's camp in Ireland as a loan move to Coventry is reportedly being finalised.
One of Chelsea's more senior loanees, Zappacosta spent last year at Genoa, where he played 25 times in Serie A, netting four goals and assisting two.
Despite impressing in Italy, with competition fierce at right-back for the Blues, Zappacosta is unlikely to feature heavily, and could well move back to his homeland.
He's still not been sold by the club, but Tiemoue Bakayoko is yet to be spotted at Cobham, and it's believed he hasn't returned for pre-season. However, he's included in this list as he technically is a Blues player right now, although an exit seems destined.
He spent last year on loan at Napoli, playing 32 times in Serie A. Outcast since that woeful game against Watford back in 2018, Bakayoko's move from Monaco hasn't worked out at all.
I guess we should all blame Jose Mourinho. Back in 2014, when he was still in charge of Chelsea, Mourinho said that if Lewis Baker, Izzy Brown and Dominic Solanke don't play for England, everyone should "blame me".
Seven years, and eight loan spells later, Lewis Baker is back at Cobham. His last loan saw him move to Turkey, where he made 36 appearances for Trabzonspor.
He contributed to five Super Lig goals, but at 26, he needs a permanent move away, because a spot in the Chelsea first-team seems increasingly unlikely.
Somehow, Danny Drinkwater is on £100,000 per week at Chelsea, despite making just five Premier League starts for the club, and none since the beginning of the 2018/19 season.
He made just five starts for Burnley and Aston Villa in 2019/20, and a further six for Kasimpasa last year.
At 31, his career at the top level looks to be over.
If only Chelsea had never arranged that charity friendly against New England Revolution just days before the Europa League final.
However, he suffered an Achilles tendon injury in that friendly and hasn't been the same since. He spent last year on loan at relegated Fulham, playing 33 times in all competitions, scoring just once.
Unlike Loftus-Cheek, Conor Gallagher had an impressive loan spell in the Premier League last year. He was one of West Brom's best players, and proved that he is more than capable of playing in the top flight.
A box-to-box number eight, Gallagher is believed to have impressed so far in pre-season, and could well be a useful rotation option for Tuchel.
It had seemed like Ross Barkley had found a home at Villa Park last year, but his form then nosedived and never recovered.
A favourite of Sarri's, Barkley may well now be behind Gallagher in the pecking order, and another loan, or a permanent move, could be on the cards.
With four goal contributions, and decent underlying numbers last term, Barkley would still be a solid option for a lower-half Premier League side.
A forgotten man, Kenedy is still a Chelsea player. He made 32 starts for Granada last year, scoring eight goals and assisting six in all competitions. Four goal contributions came in the Europa League, and he may have found a home in Spain.
He's back at Chelsea for now, but will surely move on this summer.
His move from Marseille hasn't delivered much, and although Chelsea are looking for a goalscorer, Batshauyi isn't the answer. He scored just twice on loan at Crystal Palace last year, and his fellow countryman Christian Benteke was the preferred option up top.
Tuchel may keep him in the squad, however, having let Olivier Giroud go.
The 22-year-old forward spent last year on loan at Cercle Brugge, where he scored 16 goals in 32 Belgian Pro league appearances.
He was the league's seven highest goal-scorer. He may well be loaned out again to gain more experience.
Finally, Armando Broja rounds off the list of returning stars. Having just signed a new contract, big things are expected of Broja, and he's impressed in pre-season.
He scored against Peterborough, and during an in-house friendly in Ireland, which comes after netting 10 Eredivisie goals for Vitesse last term.
Tuchel is a fan, and he may well be handed a rotation role next year.
With such a bloated squad, Chelsea will need to free up space, so expect some of these players to head back out on loan, or even be sold permanently.