The annual outflow of Chelsea youngsters on loan to teams around the globe has begun early this year. Already we have seen centre-back Tomas Kalas packed off to Cologne in Germany, now two more on their travels.
Brazilian right-back Wallace will be spending 2014/15 in Holland after being sent to the Blues’ partner club Vitesse Arnhem. For the player’s and the club’s sake, it can only be hoped that it is more successful than the loan arranged for him last year. He went to Inter Milan – the thought being that he was ready to play at the level of Serie A – but only played three games for the Italians, all of them coming on as a substitute.
Wallace is a very talented defender who can operate on either flank and loves to get forward. He was signed from Brazilian club Fluminese a year and a half ago at the age of just 19, and has very little experience of top-flight football.
A loan to Vitesse should be tailor-made for him to get some game time – the Dutch league is less pressurised than the Italian, and Vitesse are committed to using the players Chelsea send them. Their Technical Director Mohammed Allach said: “Wallace is a big talent, he fits in our offensive way of playing and provides more options in our midfield and defence.” Let’s hope he means what he says.
Also out of the door already is Christian Cuevas, the 19 year-old Chilean left-back we bought last year. He had a spell in the Vitesse reserves before being sent on loan to PSV Eindhoven, but has now been sent back to his home country to play for Universidad de Chile. That would appear to be a step back for the young defender, and is hardly a sign of Chelsea’s confidence in him.
It’s certain that the club will be sending more players out on loan in the coming two months. Thorgan Hazard, fresh from his heroics at Zulte Waregem, needs to move a step up and now seems likely to go to German club Borussia Moenchengladbach. Nigeria’s World Cup defender Kenneth Omeruo looks set to return for another year at Middlesbrough. Lewis Baker, the 19 year-old star of the Chelsea youth team, will surely be placed somewhere to further his development. Another 19 year-old, midfielder John Swift, also seems sure to go on loan, probably to a Championship side. Patrick Bamford, who starred on loan at Derby County last season, now needs to find a Premier League club to develop further.
It would be a major surprise if more players didn’t follow Wallace to Vitesse – and Chelsea will also have to find homes for those who have excelled at the Dutch club and need to move up a gear – players like Lucas Piazon, Bertrand Traore, Patrick van Aanholt and Christian Atsu. Van Aarnholt may make the first-team squad at Stamford Bridge – it’s doubtful any of the rest is quite ready for that yet.
Looks like it’s going to be a bust two months for the loan arranger at Chelsea Football Club.