Following the news that FIFA have upheld Chelsea’s transfer ban, the Blues now face two consecutive transfer windows without being allowed to sign a player. Fortunately for Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea currently have 41 footballers out on loan who they could bring into their squad next season. We decided to look at six who might be able to improve the Blues’ fortunes.
The 20-year-old midfielder won Golden Player of the Tournament after setting up England’s winning goal in the final of the U19 World Championships in 2017. Accordingly, when Chelsea midfield legend Frank Lampard took over as Derby County manager, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to take Mount on loan to Pride Park.
Mount was so impressive in the early stages of the season that he earned a call up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the Nations League encounters with Spain and Croatia. He then suffered an injury setback and was ruled out for two months but, with eight goals in 35 appearances to his name, could be a good squad option next season.
The Frenchman was expected to become Chelsea’s long term replacement for John Terry after signing from St Etienne in 2014. However, a patchy start to his career in West London eventually saw Zouma sent to Everton on loan where, it’s fair to say, he has excelled.
He has formed a commanding partnership alongside Michael Keane in the heart of the Toffees defence. In their last 11 matches they have conceded just seven goals, the joint second best record in the league over that period, with only Manchester City shipping less.
Another Frenchman who was signed with high hopes was Tiémoué Bakayoko. Part of the infamous Monaco side who shocked France by winning Ligue Un in 2016/17, in addition to reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, they were picked apart by bigger clubs that summer with Bakayoko ending up in London.
However, he never settled to life in the Premier League and was sent to AC Milan, where he has spent this season. As part of the loan deal AC Milan retained an option to buy but, with Bakayoko engaging in a recent touchline spat with Gennaro Gattuso, it now looks unlikely. Will Maurizio Sarri give him a second chance to shine?
The Belgian never looked liked becoming first choice at Stamford Bridge, even with the underperforming Alvaro Morata ahead of him. He was shipped out on loan to Borussia Dortmund initially, enjoying a positive return of seven goals in ten matches. However, he then flopped at Valencia before Palace took him for the second half of the season. He has only contributed three goals in ten appearances at Selhurst Park, with Roy Hodgson seemingly unwilling to make the deal permanent this summer.
It isn’t the kind of form that will be accepted by the Stamford Bridge faithful, who are accustomed to players such as Didier Drogba and Diego Costa leading the line. However, with Morata unlikely to return and Higuain having failed to set the world alight, could Batshuayi yet earn a reprieve?
Perhaps the more likely option to boost Chelsea’s forward options could be twice-capped Englishman Tammy Abraham. Having helped England U20s to their third consecutive Toulon Tournament win in 2018, he was loaned to Aston Villa to gain some first team experience in the Championship.
It has gone fantastically well, with Abraham notching 25 goals from 37 appearances this season, making the 21-year-old the third highest scorer in the division. Should Villa gain promotion via the playoffs, they will almost certainly put in a large bid for the forward but, with Chelsea weak in that area, they might well be rebuffed.
One player who will definitely be at Stamford Bridge next season in Christian Pulisic. The American winger is only 20 but has made quite a name for himself at Borussia Dortmund, enough to convince Chelsea to sign him for £58 million in January, on the proviso that he would be allowed to stay in Germany for the rest of the season.
With Chelsea overly reliant on Eden Hazard to provide their attacking edge, and his future in doubt, expect Pulisic to be a vital part of Chelsea’s plans next season.