The fact Chelsea are lumbering somewhat in mid-table, playing as if they’re coming towards an end of an era, may suggest at least a few of their plethora of young talent would get a chance in the first-team. Right?
Wrong. Ok, so Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Bertrand Traore have impressed in the FA Cup, but the pair are merely a dip in the ocean in terms of young stars on the periphery at Stamford Bridge.
As the Blues look to salvage at least something out of this season, Guus Hiddink is unlikely to blood too many more youngsters during his interim stint in charge. Perhaps the emergency loan window can afford the fallen Premier League champions the chance to give some of their rising stars a taste of first-team football, at an upwardly mobile Championship club?
Despite their stuttering form in recent months, Derby County are exactly that. A big club, with big expectations. For the Rams too, the arrival of some fresh faces may be exactly the spark they need to alight a season that had at one point looked so promising.
With Darren Wassall, previously the club’s academy director, now in charge until the end of the season, developing talent would be in good hands during a brief stint in Derbyshire.
So, on paper at least, it’s a good deal for all involved.
Considering all this, here are FIVE Chelsea players Derby County should target on loan.
Things have not really worked out for Islam Feruz so far, with a host of frustrating loan spells to his name. Having recently ended his stint with Hibernian, the 20-year old forward is reportedly on the radar of some Championship clubs.
Though the Scottish U21 international has had his fair share of controversies, he no doubt remains a talent. A buzzing forward, the gifted youngster has even drawn comparisons with Romario during his short career.
A long way to go perhaps, but under the tutelage of Wassell, perhaps the young Scot can soon realise his true potential.
Marcus Olsson recently arrived from Blackburn Rovers in order to strengthen the left-back berth, though that should not rule out a move for another one.
Stephen Warnock’s vast experience makes him a stoic option, though if the club are looking for more energy, perhaps they could take a look into Chelsea’s Jay DaSilva.
The 17-year old possesses almost boundless energy, breaking behind enemy with aplomb. Despite his relatively slight frame, the England youth international is both quick and strong, making him an ideal option at Championship level.
Able to play up and down the left side of the field, his versatility could be mightily helpful towards the end of the season.
Though Kurt Zouma’s recent injury will no doubt have put a strain on the Blues’ options in the centre of defence, recent arrival Matt Miazga is unlikely to impose himself on the first-team too much.
The American defender is a pretty unknown quantity, even in the age of almost endless statistics. Perhaps testing him in a side like the Rams, who play good football in a physically demanding league, could truly help him get to grips with English football.
With Bransilav Ivanovic proving to be an adequate deputy at centre-half and John Terry returning, the former New York Red Bulls starlet would surely be better suited plying his trade elsewhere right now.
Aside from Loftus-Cheek or Traore, Brazilian midfielder Kenedy is probably the biggest name mentioned in this list. Any move to bring the 20-year old to the iPro Stadium would be ambitious, but would be exactly the right tonic to get the Rams back on track.
Now Pedro seems to be nearing his Barcelona best, breaking an attacking midfield that already contains the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian will be a monumental task.
His incisive play, cutting in from the right wing has drawn comparisons to countryman Hulk during his short career. Should he be given a freer role more regularly, his ingenuity on the ball could be devastating in the Championship.
Charlie Wakefield is not as well known as some of the others mentioned in this list, though the England under-16 international is supremely talented.
With close control to be envied, the former Brighton trainee can play either on the wing, in defence or even at Number 10.
Will Hughes’ creativity in the engine room has been a big miss for the club this season and the England under-21 international may not be back to his best until the start of next season.
Perhaps moving for Wakefield, who can operate as a link between defence and attack, could help provide some much needed creativity in the final third.