LOAN INTEREST

With the 2013/14 season now well and truly underway, the official Chelsea website takes a look at how those players currently out on loan performed before the international break…

 

Marko Marin has begun his loan spell at Sevilla in confident fashion. Having scored on his return to England in a pre-season friendly at Old Trafford, the diminutive winger netted his first competitive goals for the Spanish club in a recent 4-1 win over Slask Wroclaw in the Europa League qualifiers, and looks set to be an important member of the side for the season ahead.

Oriol Romeu is yet to make his debut for Valencia, although the Spanish midfielder has been an unused substitute during their opening three games. The La Liga outfit have already lost twice, most recently at home to Barcelona. The 21-year-old was ruled out of the second half of last season for Chelsea due to a knee injury.

Staying in Spain, Thibaut Courtois [pictured below], now in his third season on loan at Atletico Madrid, continues to impress with his performances. The 21-year-old is now firmly established as the first-choice goalkeeper for Diego Simeone's side and, after playing well in a two-legged Spanish Super Cup tie against Barcelona - including keeping a clean sheet in the Camp Nou - he enhanced his reputation further with a remarkable 89th-minute save last weekend to preserve his team's lead in a 2-1 win against Real Sociedad.

Thibaut Courtois

 

Over in Italy, meanwhile, Wallace made his debut for Inter in a 3-0 away win at Catania last weekend. The Brazilian right-back came off the bench seven minutes from time to make his bow for Walter Mazzarri's side.

Having ended the 2012/13 season strongly for Blackburn Rovers, Todd Kane returned to Ewood Park ahead of the new campaign and has picked up where he left off. The young right-back has been an ever-present in Gary Bowyer's side, and turned in an outstanding display in a recent 5-2 win over Barnsley, setting up two goals and scoring his first for the club with a well-taken strike from the edge of the box. Kane is also part of the England Under-21 squad for the Euro 2015 qualifiers against Moldova and Finland in the next few days.

Patrick Bamford [pictured below], on loan at MK Dons for the second time, has enjoyed a fine start to the new season, already finding the target on four occasions. The striker scored against Premier League opposition when MK Dons faced Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in a 4-2 Capital One Cup defeat, while most recently netting in a 2-0 Johnstone's Paint Trophy win against Northampton.

Patrick Bamford_MK Dons


George Saville
, after struggling for game time during his loan spell at Millwall last season, is steadily becoming a pivotal member of a Brentford side who have started the campaign well. Tough in the tackle and with an eye for a pass, the 20-year-old has started all five league matches for Uwe Rosler's team. As yet they are unbeaten.

It's been a mixed start to the season for Milan Lalkovic at Walsall. The Slovakian winger has impressed when he's featured, but his involvement has been limited due to a hamstring problem. If he can remain free from injury, however, all the signs are that his time at the Bescot Stadium could be a fruitful period in the youngster's career.

Sam Walker, after playing a crucial role in Colchester United's positive end to last season, has returned to the Weston Homes Community Stadium for another loan spell and the goalkeeper has started all five league matches for Joe Dunn's side.

Thorgan Hazard, whose performances for Zulte Waregem towards the end of last season earned him a first senior international call-up, has continued where he left off for the Belgian side. The dynamic midfielder was on target as they secured their Europa League place with a win over APOEL Nicosia, while in their recent 4-3 win over Anderlecht he scored one and set up three goals in a 4-3 victory.

Over in Holland, both Patrick van Aanholt and Lucas Piazon have been involved for Vitesse Arnhem early in the campaign, with the Brazilian making his debut for the club in a 1-1 draw at Roda JC, playing 82 minutes before being withdrawn. Piazon did enough in that game to ensure he started the following two matches, a 1-0 win over FC Twente and a 1-1 draw at AZ Alkmaar.

Cristian Cuevas, who moved to Stamford Bridge over the summer, was an unused substitute against AZ, while Gael Kakuta is yet to feature this season due to injury.

Stipe Perica, meanwhile, is still awaiting his debut for NAC Brada in the Eredivisie.

Matej Delac is currently on loan at FK Vojvodina, and while the goalkeeper has started his spell with the Serbian club on a mostly positive note, they were eliminated from the Europa League by FC Sheriff. Delac, though, can be pleased with his performances so far, which included keeping clean sheets in their last two league matches.