The fact that Chelsea have one of the largest loan rosters in world football is no secret. They have sent many of their young prospects away in order to gain valuable first team experience, in the hope that one day they’ll be able to flourish in the first team.
Unfortunately, many of these players never end up making a senior appearance at Stamford Bridge and in recent years, the Blues have seen several former loanees leave on a permanent basis and make a name for themselves at rival clubs. These include Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah and Romelu Lukaku.
However, there are a few young prospects that stand a chance of returning back to Chelsea as future first team players.
6. Michy Batshuayi
Batshuayi possesses a lot of quality up front, he scored Chelsea’s decisive title-winning goal away against West Brom in 2017 and netted the winner away against Atlético Madrid in the Champions League last season, but has found it difficult to cement a regular starting position with the likes of Álvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud.
Batshuayi spent the second half of last season on-loan at Borussia Dortmund, and impressed in Germany. He netted nine times in 14 appearances in all competitions – seven of which came in 10 Bundesliga matches. He’s now at Valencia and found the net once, despite finding it difficult to gain a regular starting place ahead of Rodrigo and Kévin Gameiro. The Spanish side are the joint-second-lowest scoring side in La Liga and their lack of creativity has prevented the Belgian from adding to his tally.
However, with Morata and Giroud finding it difficult for the Blues, it seems likely that Batshuayi will return to Stamford Bridge and prove his doubters wrong.
5. Kurt Zouma
Following the departure of John Terry, Kurt Zouma was tipped to be the next heart and soul of the Blues defence. The Frenchman, however, has struggled with injuries, which have significantly halted his development and allowed David Luiz and Antonio Rüdiger to prove their worth in a Chelsea shirt.
He spent last season on-loan at Stoke City – who were eventually relegated – and earned himself a deadline day move to Goodison Park this summer, where he’s made an appearance in eight of ten matches. His last appearance came against Leicester City, where he provided an assist in what was a 2-1 away victory for the Toffees.
There is no doubt that on his day, he can be unbeatable, but his fitness will be a concern for Chelsea, and should he return to Stamford Bridge, he may already find himself down the pecking order.
4. Mason Mount
Mason Mount has caught the eye of many fans in recent weeks. The midfielder has impressed on loan at Derby County, where former Chelsea legend Frank Lampard is in charge, and has already registered five goals in 15 appearances for the Rams in all competitions.
He netted twice in the Carabao Cup and looked composed in their tie against Manchester United; a tie which they would shockingly win via a penalty shootout.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek received similar acclaim for his display whilst at Crystal Palace last season, but this season he’s only made three appearances for the Blues. Let’s hope Mount manages to get the game time he deserves if he does return to Stamford Bridge next summer.
3. Mario Pašali?
Mario Pašali? is participating in his second spell in Serie A in three years. After a disappointing previous campaign with Milan, where he made 27 appearances in all competitions, the Croat now finds himself at Atalanta.
He’s been involved in five goals in 12 appearances for La Dea this season and seems to have a good partnership with strikers Andreas Cornelius, Alejandro Gómez and Musa Barrow. It is unknown whether the midfielder will have a career back in west London, but if his fine form continues, Maurizio Sarri may have another central midfield conundrum for next season.
2. Fikayo Tomori
Tomori is another player making his mark with Derby in the Championship. The centre-back seems to be a real favourite of manager Lampard, playing every single minute for the Rams since joining the club.
He has helped keep five clean sheets and is also a threat in the opposition’s box, scoring once in the Carabao Cup.
He seems certain to have a bright future, but at a club like Chelsea, he may find it difficult to earn himself a regular starting place in the first team.
1. Tammy Abraham
Tammy Abraham didn’t get much of a look in for Chelsea’s senior squad after his run of form for Swansea last season. However, he’s featured for Aston Villa since joining in the summer, netting three times in six starts.
The striker tends to do well in the Championship, he netted 23 goals in 43 matches for Bristol City and could emulate that again this season. At the moment, it looks like the Premier League is a step too far for his level, considering his five league goals in 31 league matches for Swansea, but the Championship could provide him with a confidence boost should Chelsea be in need of an alternative option up front.