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Which loanees have a Chelsea future?

Chelsea Football Club have built an infamous reputation of abusing the loan system, shipping a vast amount of hungry youngsters and f...

Chelsea Football Club have built an infamous reputation of abusing the loan system, shipping a vast amount of hungry youngsters and fringe players to other clubs. It has almost become a necessity in Chelsea’s culture to use the loan market ever since the Abramovich takeover in 2003.

With the best academy in the country at Chelsea’s dispense, many would argue that as a club, Chelsea should invest more time into nurturing their super talents into the first team. With a dream of becoming a future Chelsea great, many youngsters seek to prove themselves at other clubs in the hope that they may one day return and put on the coveted Chelsea shirt. Until this season, many of Chelsea’s loan list have been moved on permanently as Chelsea have continuously cashed in on their young talents. However, this season things have changed.

With a transfer ban summoned and the return of club legend Frank Lampard as head coach, Chelsea have taken first steps to change their approach. Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James all embody this change. The four Chelsea academy graduates, all lifelong Chelsea fans, completed extremely successful loan spells in the Championship last season. Now prominent names on the team sheet and favourites with the Chelsea fanbase, the four academy stars have presented young and hungry individuals at the club with an eye-opening to break into the first team.

Lampard has immediately gone about enforcing his methods upon the squad, giving not only young players confidence to breakthrough into the first team but also the players out on loan. Three players who are out on loan, with the potential to break into the first team, are Conor Gallagher, Ethan Ampadu and Marc Guehi. 

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher, a boyhood blues fan and academy player of the season, 2018-19, has an enormous opportunity to stake a claim in the first team next season. Although an unused substitute in the final, Gallagher collected a Europa League winners medal under Sarri last season. The youngster was loaned out at the start of this season to championship club Charlton where he flourished and his huge potential was evident from the first game. Gallagher often received glorifying praise from manager Lee Bowyer as his pure ability was clear to see. 

After a successful spell with Charlton, Gallagher was recalled by Chelsea as many clubs came circling in a hope of capturing the young star's signature. Swansea won the race, and Gallagher looks set to battle it out for a spot in the Championship playoffs with The Swans.

Gallagher has often drawn similarities between him and ‘his idol’ Lampard. The youngster has a habit of arriving in the box late to score goals, a trait which Lampard had based his star-studded career on. Dynamic, full of energy and a strong tackler, Gallagher is making a name for himself in the Championship. His stats speak for themself with 6 goals and 9 assists to his name this season. Lampard will surely be paying close attention.

Ethan Ampadu

Another Chelsea loanee who has the potential to break into the first team is 19 years old Ethan Ampadu. Ampadu arrived at Chelsea as a 16-year-old boy, after impressing in the first team for Exeter City. Standing out immensely as a boy who plays way beyond his years, Ampadu had many of the top clubs in England, vying for his signature. Chelsea won the race. 

Mainly deployed in Chelsea’s youth set up, Ampadu was seen as a star of the future rather than the present. However, under Antonio Conte, the talented youngster did manage to rack up 8 first-team appearances in total, mainly in the FA and League cup. However one of those appearances came at the expense of a substitute appearance in a 3-1 win away at Huddersfield Town in the Premier League. At 17 years of age, this represented a gargantuan achievement for such a young lad.  

At the beginning of the 19-20 season, Ampadu secured an immense opportunity when he agreed to a one-year loan deal with German side RB Leipzig. Leipzig, a team who compete in the Championship League, had presented Ampadu with an opening to impress himself on the big stage. Things haven't gone as planned for Ampadu, with a total of only seven appearances to his name. However, in the recent last-16 champions league victory vs Tottenham, Ampadu played at the heart of Leipzig’s back five. His immense quality shone throughout as he stood out as a calm and composed leader. His understanding and defensive intelligence of the game enabled him to help guide his team to victory in what proved to be a man of the match performance. 

As well as Ampadu being an established centre back, he can also comfortably locate in centre defensive midfield. Next season, this could be pivotal for Chelsea having an extremely versatile player like Ampadu in their ranks. It will provide much-needed competition for Lampard's squad in the future. With Chelsea’s defence looking quite bare at times this season,  a player of Ampadu’s quality will help boost their backline significantly.

Marc Guehi

The third and final player who could return from their loan spell to help Chelsea next season is Centre back Marc Guehi. Like Ampadu, Guehi represents a player way beyond his 19 years. Guehi, who has been in the Chelsea youth setup since the age of eight, followed in Conor Gallagher’s footsteps by making the move to Swansea in the January transfer window. 

The young centre back will be hoping to shine in the Championship, as he gains valuable first-team experience in a league which is physically demanding and as competitive as the Premier League. Guehi has the talent and drive to succeed in the Championship, potentially leading to a spot in Lampard's squad next season.

The talented 19-year-old captained the England u17 side to World Cup victory, which in itself is a huge achievement. Guehi is very much the all-round modern-day centre back: quick, extremely composed on the ball, defensively aware and good in the air. The youngster often orchestrates the attacks for his side, bringing the ball out of defence in a confident and collected manner. With Lampard's side being a team that plays fast free-flowing football, Guehi could be a perfect fit for the Chelsea backline, being the fast, ball-playing centre half he is.

The change in mentality Lampard has brought to Chelsea and his apparent backing by the board, loanees may believe that their boyhood dream of donning the blue shirt has now become a reality.

Written by - @haz_williams00
Edit by - @KristenPulisic

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