Young Chelsea talents who could leave Blues behind
Chelsea, favourites at 7/4 to win the Premier League this campaign, are spoilt for choice when it comes to first team options. The Blues have made three marquee signings already this summer, with Spain superstar Cesc Fabregas trading Barcelona for Stamford Bridge, and deadly striker Diego Costa and left back Filipe Luis both arriving from Atletico Madrid.
Consequently, the wealthy west London club are often criticised for neglecting talents in their youth system, and for stock-piling established superstars instead.
Belgian stopper Thibaut Courtois is one of many Blues boys to return from loan deals, with Chelsea farming out an incredible number of players last season, and that trend does not look set to change.
A raft of youngsters, including Wallace Oliveira dos Santos, Thorgan Hazard, Tomas Kalas and Kenneth Omereu have already left Stamford Bridge on loan, hoping to boost their chances of one day starring in the starting XI.
Coral takes a peek at who else could leave the Blues behind, on a temporary or permanent basis, in their quest for first team action.
With last season’s top loan star, Romelu Lukaku, reportedly set to depart Chelsea due to concerns over lack of playing time, the stage could be set for Grantham-born Bamford to stake a claim for a squad place.
This could be bad news for the prolific young poacher, though, who would likely inherit a space on the bench, or a seat on the team bus.
After impressing in loan stints at Derby County and MK Dons, the 20-year-old striker, who netted eight times for the Rams last term, is the subject of interest from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Bamford needs to make the jump to the next level, though, and a move to a newly-promoted Premier League side could be the best option, after impressing during the Blues’ pre-season so far.
QPR, who seem set to lose Loic Remy to Liverpool, will be in need of a replacement forward, with Leicester City or Burnley also on the hunt for further firepower.
Highly-rated attacking midfielder Piazon, 20, hit the headlines at Vitesse Arnhem last term. He featured 30 times for the Dutch club, netting 11 goals and providing eight assists.
Piazon’s sparkling form has intrigued clubs across Europe, but Blues boss Mourinho reportedly favours a loan switch to the Bundesliga for the Brazilian youngster.
Frankfurt appear to be leading the race to sign the burgeoning Samba Boy, with another year away from his parent club a wise course of action. Versatile Piazon, who was named Chelsea Young Player of the Year in 2012, can play in wide or central attacking midfield roles, but the Blues are currently well stocked in that department.
In what could be a breakout season for the scintillating Sao Paulo-born starlet, new Brazil boss Dunga will be running the rule over the recent World Cup host’s squad, meaning international places could be up for grabs.
Chalobah, still just 19, seems to have been hovering around the fringes of Chelsea’s squad forever, which is testament to the promise the England youth international has shown from an early age.
Not yet capped at senior level, Chalobah, who has captained the Three Lions at Under-19 level, is also eligible for Sierra Leone, his country of birth.
The powerful, versatile defender, who can also operate as a midfield anchor, enjoyed a fruitful first loan to Championship side Watford in 2012/13. Chalobah netted five goals during his spell at the club, including a sumptuous 30-yard strike against Leicester City, with the clamour for his inclusion in Chelsea’s first team increasing.
Subsequent loan stints at Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough, however, proved that the Blues academy product still has a long way to go before stepping into John Terry’s shoes.
After the arrival of promising young centre back Kurt Zouma, Chalobah’s best bet would be to provide cover for Nemanja Matic in the holding midfield role.
If current back-up John Obi Mikel does not move on this summer as expected, the youngster should instead look for Premier League game time elsewhere, with Burnley and Sunderland mooted as possible destinations.
Midfield maestro McEachran is another whose name has long been whispered around the corridors of Stamford Bridge, touted as the west London side’s best hope of producing a regular starter from within their own ranks.
After four loan spells in two and a half years, the slight 21-year-old has suffered with the rigours of Championship football, only showing glimpses of the talent that reportedly once convinced Chelsea to turn down a young Christian Eriksen.
Unlikely to break into the first team, McEachran is now linked with a fifth loan switch, this time to Spain, as the technically excellent Englishman hopes to kick-start his career.
Second division sides Real Zaragoza and Recreativo Huelva are rumoured to be interested, as McEachran looks set to opt for a change of scenery following spells at Swansea City, Middlesbrough, Watford and Wigan Athletic.
At this stage, though, perhaps a permanent move could be more beneficial, allowing the playmaker to have a completely fresh start.
Centre half Christensen has been a key figure in the Blues academy, but his agent recently rejected claims of a loan switch to Premier League side Sunderland.
The highly-rated Danish defender’s future has been the subject of much speculation recently, following his father’s reported claims that the teenager would not be allowed to make a loan move abroad.
Christensen would need to train in his parent club’s country for three years to be classed as homegrown, with his father reportedly displeased at the prospect of the highly-rated centre back’s progress stalling in the reserves.
A host of clubs would be keen to capture the youth star if the Scandinavian plumped to leave the Blues but, after Chelsea invested so much time in Christensen, he is unlikely to be prised away just yet.