Chelsea’s famous ‘loan army’ is one of the stupidest things in all of sports. It does not help them, and don’t let any Chelsea fan tell you differently. All they end up doing is selling for pennies on the dollar stars they could use (hello, Kevid De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah, and Romelu Lukaku) or wasting the careers of players who were foolish enough to believe the promises Chelsea gave them (such as Matej Delac who became Chelsea’s longest serving player without ever suiting up for the London club).
The good thing about the loan army is that there is plenty of opportunity for more intelligent clubs to take advantage. Everton has done this before with Lukaku and we may have the opportunity to do it again as Chelsea are reportedly deciding whether to put Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Michy Batshuayi back on loan.
According to FA rules, Chelsea cannot loan more than one player to the same team, which is a shame because I really like both these players.
Batshuayi was absolutely excellent during the second half of last campaign for Borussia Dortmund, scoring seven goals and bagging an assist in just 837 league minutes, while bagging four goals between the Europa League and Champions league last season (454 minutes), two goals and an assist in 353 Premier League minutes, and in various domestic cup competitions for Chelsea last year six goals in eight appearances.
Whew... why Chelsea won’t use this guy I have no idea. He’s a starting level striker in a big way, and it would be a massive indicator of systemic incompetence to not only not want to use him, but to be willing to toss him to a league rival.
For Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his 24 league appearances with Crystal Palace last season were good enough to convince Gareth Southgate that he deserved a place on the highly touted World Cup semi-finalist Three Lions side this summer. He is a solid passer of the ball and creates a strong number of chances for where he plays on the field (1.2 key passes per 90) while being an excellent dribbler (3.5 successful dribbles per 90 at an 67% success rate).
Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Crystal Palace 17-18. Always difficult to evaluate players on dysfunctional teams. Definitely PL talent present pic.twitter.com/0Zx4gOEul3— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) September 27, 2017
For Everton, Loftus-Cheek is probably the better fit. Batshuayi is the bigger talent, but we have a reliable starting striker in Cenk Tosun already, and while I personally consider Michy to be better than Cenk, it doesn’t, for me, overcome the fact that Loftus-Cheek is the exact sort of ball carrying, play-advancing midfielder this team sorely needs. Crystal Palace very much wants him back, but I think we can win out if we press for him.
Chelsea can always be relied on to do things in the dumbest way possible. Their entire modus operandi for the Abramovich era has been ‘do a bunch of stupid things then throw enough money at the problem to make up for it’ and clubs all over the world have benefitted tremendously. We have an opportunity to capitalize on their lack of intelligence and I surely hope we do so.