With Lampard finally confirmed as our manager and the transfer ban unlikely to be overturned or suspended, we take a look at all the players in our loan army that deserve a shot at the first team in the next season.
Lampard’s first press conference made it pretty clear that every single player starts with a clean slate, regardless of age or experience. Here are some of all the players who impressed on loan last season and could form a part of the first team.
Coming back from a near career ending injury is never easy. His first loan after his injury with Stoke City wasn’t as fruitful with them getting relegated. But, he definitely redeemed himself last season at Everton, even getting picked ahead of their 35 million pound signing Yerry Mina to partner with Micheal Keane. He’s nearly unbeatable in the air having won more aerial duels than all our defenders last season. His on-the-ball attributes have often been criticised, but definitely deserves to stay at Chelsea next season following the departure of Gary Cahill.
His first half of the season on loan at Valencia was one to forget, but his loan at Crystal Palace was much more prolific, as he formed an impressive partnership with Wilfred Zaha and Jordan Ayew, scoring 5 goals in 11 appearances. Never given a proper chance at Chelsea, this could be his season if he grabs his opportunities.
After tearing up the Championship with Bristol City in the 2016/17 season, scoring 23 goals, much was anticipated of his loan with Swansea in the Premier League. But he failed to live up to the hype, scoring just 8 times across all competitions for the Swans. A return to the Championship last season with Aston Villa yielded 25 goals. With Lampard at the helm and his emphasis on youth integration, Abraham could finally get his chance to impress the Chelsea faithful.
Winner of the Academy Player of the Season in 2017-18, Wigan had a real class act on loan this season. Crossing, strength and stamina are his standout qualities, with several Wigan fans saying he’s the best player to have worn a Wigan shirt in recent times. This was reflected at the their end of the season award ceremony, where he picked up three awards including player of the season. Reece James also operated at centre back and central midfield to help Wigan stay up last season.
Mount adored the Derby colours, working under current Chelsea manager Frank Lampard and played an important role in them reaching the Championship Play-off final. Although he was sidelined for nearly two months with a hamstring injury, he contributed 8 goals while also assisting 1. With Loftus-Cheek out long term with injury, Mount definitely deserves a shot in the team.
Signed from Dortmund in January and loaned back, he technically forms part of the loan army. He was injured most of the season and played second fiddle to Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus. He ended the season on a high, finishing with 3 goals and 3 assists, along with leading USA from the front in the Gold Cup.
One of the gems of the Monaco side of 2016-17 that reached the Champions League semi finals and won the Ligue 1, Bakayoko was signed as a young replacement to the outgoing Matic. The following season, however, was one to forget, with the Premier League seemingly too fast paced for him. A loan to AC Milan in Italy was better, with him playing more minutes while also averaging more tackles and interceptions per 90 min. He also improved with respect to the number of passes and passing accuracy. Bakayoko has made it pretty clear that his aim is to make it at Chelsea and with a new manager, it might be worth giving him a chance at redemption.
That concludes the list of players who we believe deserve a chance at Chelsea in the upcoming season. Honourable mentions to Fikayo Tomori who won Player of the Year at Derby and Trevoh Chalobah who operated at centre back and midfield for Ipswich Town. Jay Da Silva and Ola Aina had good seasons with Bristol City and Torino respectively, but the clubs have activated the purchase option in their contracts, meaning they are no more Chelsea players. Alvaro Morata’s move to Atletico Madrid has also been made permanent.
Frank Lampard’s emphasis on youth integration could pave way for deserving youngsters from the academy to join the first team directly without having to go on loan first. This includes academy player of the year Conor Gallagher, Billy Gilmour, Marc Guehi, Daishawn Redan as well Juan Castillo who recently signed a new contract. This could be a breakout season for Ethan Ampadu as well, who had restricted playing time last season.
All in all, we can say that despite losing our best player and having a transfer ban, next season seems exciting courtesy of Frank Lampard and a new chapter at Chelsea Football Club.