What’s next for three of Chelsea’s loanees as they suffer the harsh reality of Premier League football this season?
It goes without saying that when the summer transfer window opens each year, the phones at Chelsea must be ringing off the hook. The Blues are no strangers to sending a whole host of players out on loan every season, and more often than not, those favoured in the Premier League relegation odds will be quick to snap up whoever it is Chelsea are looking to offload in order to help them gain some additional talent.
This season, however, it looks as though three of their loan stars haven’t been able to help their temporary club’s stock rise as much as they would have hoped, and as the season draws to an end, it’s all the more likely that they will all taste relegation.
But, as their current teammates head for the Championship, they’ll go back to Chelsea — where they’ll await the details on what the future holds. So, without further ado, let’s look at what could happen next for the three loanees.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – Fulham
This summer could be pivotal for Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The 25-year-old was just starting to break into the fold at Chelsea a couple of seasons ago when he suffered an Achilles injury in a charity match, which left him side-lined for the best part of a year. Having just recovered last summer, he was sent on loan to Fulham for this campaign to help rebuild his fitness levels and regain some sharpness. He’s made 27 league appearances for the Cottagers but hasn’t really wowed. There’s still hope for him at Chelsea as Thomas Tuchel recently compared him to Michael Ballack. However, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him leave the club this summer, with West Ham and Fulham reportedly both interested in permanent deals.
Ethan Ampadu – Sheffield United
Despite suffering relegation with Sheffield United, it’s been a huge 12 months for Ethan Ampadu. The 20-year-old has been starved of senior appearances since joining Chelsea from Exeter City in 2017. However, this season the Welsh international has been a regular in Sheffield United’s starting XI and that will only help his development as a player. Ampadu recently admitted that he hasn’t really thought about his future beyond this season yet, but if he wants to reach his full potential, he’ll need to be playing regular football and that will most likely mean another loan next season.
Conor Gallagher – West Bromwich Albion
In what has been a dire season for West Bromwich Albion, Conor Gallagher has been a breath of fresh air at The Hawthorns. Gallagher, who is yet to make a senior appearance for the Blues, has spent the last couple of years out on loan in the Championship with Charlton Athletic and Swansea City. However, he has stepped up to the challenges of Premier League football with West Brom this season and has rightfully received plaudits for his performances in a Baggies shirt. It’s believed that Thomas Tuchel is ready to give Gallagher a chance to break into the first team at Chelsea next season. But, with the likes of Mateo Kovačić, N’Golo Kanté, Jorginho and Mason Mount all ahead of him in the peaking order, it will be a tough task to get regular minutes.