Ethan Ampadu: RB Leipzig
Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes last season was the lack of use of Ampadu. Sure he was allegedly injured for the back end of the season (which was never really confirmed clearly), but he very much should have played a bigger part. The same is holding true at Leipzig as injuries took away his early introductions and Julian Nagelsmann is so far sticking with the 4-4-2 Leipzig used previously. This is a huge loan for Ampadu provided he plays, but he needs to play first of all.
Lewis Baker: Fortuna Dusseldorf
There are some who, despite several bad years in the Championship, hold out hope that Baker is still the next big thing at Chelsea. His loan to Dusseldorf will give them hope as Baker is finally in a big first division league. At 24, time is very short if not out to show he can make it at a high level. This is a big year for Baker’s career and it might be worth watching to see if he can finally live up to all his potential.
Conor Gallagher: Charlton Athletic
Gallagher is absolutely the player to watch out of the loan army this season. His few showings for the Chelsea first team in friendlies were fantastic and he very much seems poised to be this season’s Mason Mount. Able to play several positions in midfield and on the wing, the young Englishman is already adored by Charlton fans and looks to really make a name in the Championship this season. Earmark his match days on the calendar.
Jacob Maddox: Tranmere Rovers
Maddox was one of the biggest names coming from the academy in recent years. His last loan offered plenty of playing time but was not overly productive. He will look to change that as a Tractor Boy in League One this season.
Luke McCormick: Shrewsbury Town
McCormick is another long time academy player who is looking to take his youth success to the professional game. His first loan to Shrewsbury Town is already going well as he looks to establish himself in midfield.
Nathan: Atletico Mineiro
Nathan came in during a time when Chelsea was trying to find the next Neymar in Brazil. Oscar and Kenedy can at least say they have been closer to that than Nathan has been. A return to Brazil more or less signals the end of his Chelsea career with it only being a matter of time as to when.
Danilo Pantic: MOL Fehervar
Pantic is one of the holdovers of Michael Emenalo’s “buy all the players referred to as the Lionel Messi!” era of transfers. And like, well, pretty much every single one of those players, it just has not really worked out. For whatever reason, Partizan opted not to take the midfielder back a third time and now he will be heading to Hungary until Chelsea decide what to do with him.
Mario Pasalic: Atalanta
It was largely expected that this would be year that Pasalic either made it or was sold. The midfielder has had incredible loans as a Chelsea player but for whatever reason that has not translated to time in blue. He returns to Atalanta who opted not to purchase him this summer for a year of Champions League football. What happens after that is anyone’s guess but keep an eye on him.
Danny Drinkwater: Burnley
After not playing at all last season because he did not meet some arbitrary metric needed to fit into a system, Drinkwater headed out to Burnley for some proper old school English football. The loan only goes till January at which point Chelsea will probably sell him but that remains unclear. Really, the club might just be interested to see what happens when someone gives him a chance before they decide how much to sell him for.
Tiemoue Bakayoko: AS Monaco
Bakayoko had his chance this preseason to prove to the club he can make it in English football. He blew it. Bakayoko is a good player but the club cannot waste their time on the type of unknowns he brings. He returns to the club that he made a name for himself with as he looks to show the world he is more than a one season wonder.