Chelsea loanee tipped for a long Blues career as Thomas Tuchel urged to follow Liverpool plan


As with every season, Chelsea have a substantial group of players out on loan.

Some for their development, others to rekindle their form and potentially earn a future transfer, the Blues end up all over the globe.

There are 22 players that have earned temporary moves away from Stamford Bridge from across Thomas Tuchel‘s squad and from the Blues’ younger ranks.

The likes of Conor Gallagher has been out on loan numerous times before, picking up experience with Charlton, Swansea and West Bromwich Albion, while Billy Gilmour and Armando Broja secured their first Premier League loan this season.

football.london takes a look at how the loan army are getting on so far this season, getting informed opinions from local experts.

You can check out how the goalkeepers and defenders who are on loan domestically are getting on here. Take a look at how the midfielders and forwards playing in the United Kingdom are getting on below:

Conor Gallagher (Mark Wyatt – Crystal Palace reporter)

How is Conor Gallagher getting on at Crystal Palace so far?

He’s been nothing short of brilliant. Although we’re only seven Premier League games into the season he’s been Crystal Palace’s best player in that time and is thriving under the management of Patrick Vieira and the possession-based style he is implementing.
Gallagher has already won the club’s player of the month awards for August and September, and two goals and three assists to his name for the Eagles so far.

It’s a huge testament to his impact at Crystal Palace that after just two months there are already those calling for him to be included in Gareth Southgate’s senior England squad.

What kind of impact is Vieira having on Gallagher given his playing experience?

Gallagher said that his game is constantly improving while playing under the tutorship of Vieira, and that the Frenchman has brought a winning mentality to the Palace team which is rubbing off on everyone.

Vieira has completely changed the style of football at Crystal Palace in the space of a few months, and playing as the more attack-minded player in the team’s midfield three has seen Gallagher thrive.

Are there any early signs the player would have a future at Crystal Palace or Chelsea?

If Chelsea don’t keep hold of Gallagher based on the form he’s currently showing at Palace, then they will be making a huge mistake.

If he continues along his current trajectory then the Blues have an excellent player on their hands who could easily have a long career at Stamford Bridge.

Palace fans will be desperate to get him to sign with them on a permanent deal when his loan comes to an end, but his services wouldn’t come cheap and that’s only if Chelsea had an inkling of selling, which I don’t think they’ll have.

Mark out of 10 for the loan so far?

9/10

Billy Gilmour (Michael Mutch – Norwich City reporter)

How is Billy Gilmour getting on at Norwich City?

With six games under his belt in all competitions, Gilmour is getting what he came for. The young Scot has not put a foot wrong but he has not excelled either.

We can see the quality he brings, the ability to retain possession, turn away from danger at ease, and at times charge forward with the ball, but this has been overshadowed by Norwich City’s disappointing results.

Without a holding midfielder in the ranks for the first three games of the season, Gilmour filled that role and at times it has been a struggle with Norwich being weak defensively.

Now that Mathias Normann is filling the slot, and doing a good job of it, it will be interesting to see how Gilmour progresses when he is given more freedom.

Gilmour dropped out of the team recently, what are his chances of getting back in?

Gilmour’s absences this season have usually come after a hectic fixture schedule. He was left out of the game against Arsenal after playing all three of Norwich City’s Premier League matches in August and all of Scotland’s World Cup qualifying fixtures in September.

Gilmour returned for the 3-1 defeat against Watford and played a full 90 minutes just a few days later in the Carabao Cup against Liverpool.

He spent the game at Goodison Park on the bench, possibly a decision by Farke to give the 20-year-old a rest for a crucial bottom-of-the-table clash against Burnley.

Unfortunately, Gilmour picked up a knock in training and missed out on a start at Turf Moor. His appearance on the bench would suggest that Daniel Farke did not want to risk exacerbating the minor injury in such a physical game.



Billy Gilmour of Norwich City with Gavin Kilkenny of Bournemouth

Are there any early signs the player would have a future at Norwich or Chelsea?

Farke is a manager renowned for giving youth a chance. As mentioned, Gilmour has not put a foot wrong so far and with him showing so much promise since his breakthrough at Chelsea it is likely we will see more of him. It is clear that Gilmour is rated very highly at Chelsea as they continue to watch over his progress while he is at Carrow Road.

But spending time with the Blues warming up their bench is not going to do him any favours and the more Premier League games the Scottish international gets the better.

Would he be challenging the world-class midfielders Chelsea have at their disposal next season? That might be a stretch but he won’t be far off.

Mark out of 10 for the loan so far?

7/10.

Danny Drinkwater (Jonathan Low – Reading Repoter)

How is Danny Drinkwater getting on at Reading?

Drinkwater has added real quality to the midfield and brings a calmness and composure when on the ball.

He has also shown a fabulous array of passing and his reading of the game effectively allows him to be one step ahead of others.

Does the loan have legs for the rest of the season?

Yeah, Drinkwater will be here for the rest of the season.

Are there any early signs the player has a future at Reading or Chelsea?

I can’t see him being signed again. Drinkwater has already said he wants to use the loan as a stepping stone and he will want to be playing Premier League football again.

Mark out of 10 for the loan so far?

9/10.

Armando Broja (Tom Leach – Southampton Reporter)

How is Armando Broja getting on so far?

It has been a mixed start to life at Southampton for Broja but there are certainly positives to take and reasons to be optimistic.



MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: Armando Broja of Southampton and Ruben Dias of Man City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on September 18, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)
Armando Broja and Ruben Dias during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton

He started life tentatively, dubbed a slow starter by Ralph Hasenhuttl, who said that he wasn’t really giving him a reason to pick him during training sessions.

He was handed a chance to play at Newport and he smashed it before impressing in the Premier League against West Ham.

There were some really positive signs. He looked hungry, fast, dangerous and clinical. The only thing left for him was to start a Premier League game and with Adam Armstrong and Che Adams misfiring, Sheffield United away in the EFL Cup offered a golden chance for him to prove to Hasenhuttl that he was ready.

However, for want of a better word, he looked awful at Bramall Lane. He appeared disinterested, lethargic and he never got into the game. We have barely seen him since.

Does the loan have legs for the rest of the season?

Absolutely. If there is one thing that Saints have learned about Broja it is that he is working progress – and Chelsea can be happy about that.

Jurgen Klopp spoke on record during the summer about how much Takumi Minamino improved during his time at St Mary’s, even if his performances were far from spectacular.

Hasenhuttl and Tuchel are not too far apart in their styles and Broja will learn a lot on the south coast.

He is going to be here for the season and Hasenhuttl is hoping that he can contribute goals with the aim being that between him, Armstrong and Adams, Ings’ numbers will be replaced.

Are there any early signs the player would have a future at Southampton or Chelsea?

Does Broja look like a player who is going to fight Romeu Lukaku for a place in Tuchel’s attack next season? No, he doesn’t. Will be he be good enough to play frontman at Stamford Bridge one day? I don’t see why not.

He has a lot of learning to do but I only see two possible outcomes from his loan stay this season.

He either impresses, scores goals and addresses his weaknesses, which would allow Southampton and Chelsea the chance to discuss his future. Does he stay at Chelsea and fight? Does he return to Saints on loan to do it all again?

Or he fails to impress, remains a substitute under Hasenhuttl and Saints decide whether or not they try to sign Broja or allow Chelsea to find him a new home.

We’ll see – but I would describe the signs as positive right now.

Mark out of 10 for the loan so far?

For Broja, still raw but very dangerous, I would say 7/10. He could provide the spark to keep Southampton up this season but he needs to work hard if he is to do so.





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