LOAN INTEREST: CHALOBAH SUFFERS WEMBLEY AGONY

Posted on: Mon 27 May 2013

Nathaniel Chalobah ended an impressive loan spell at Watford by playing 73 minutes of the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Unfortunately, the young Blues midfielder, who was replaced by Cristian Battocio with 17 minutes remaining, was unable to prevent Gianfranco Zola's side from slipping to a 1-0 defeat against Crystal Palace after extra-time.

It's been a wonderful season for Chalobah, however, playing 42 first team matches in a team which have been challenging at the top of the Championship for much of the campaign.

He was recently named the Football League's Young Player of the Month for April, and was rewarded for his consistency by being named in the England Under-21 squad for the forthcoming European Championships in Israel.

Michael Essien

The Championship play-off final is not the end of competitive action for Chelsea players out on loan. The Spanish season continues for one more week and since exiting the Champions League at the semi-final stage with Real Madrid, Michael Essien has played three league games, this weekend in midfield in a high-scoring draw at Real Sociedad, and was right-back in their Copa del Rey final defeat against local rivals Atletico, taking his total of appearances in all competitions to 29.

It was Thibaut Courtois who was celebrating after the Spanish cup final, having made significant saves in the 2-1 win in the Bernabeu. Also this month he picked up the Ricardo Zamora award which is given to the goalkeeper in the Spanish Primera Liga with the best goals conceded per game ratio.

Atletico are third in league table with Courtois keeping a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw against Real Mallorca at the weekend, making two fine saves in the process.

Thibaut Courtois

Lucas Piazon's half-season at Malaga is concluding with him primarily a substitute. The young Brazilian has made four starts and came on in nine other games. His most recent action was 20 minutes in a defeat at Granada at the start of the month.

Other leagues around Europe have finished and Thorgan Hazard was a runner-up in Belgium with Zulte Waregem, that club's best showing. Having finished four points behind Anderlecht in the original league table, Belgium's subsequent play-off system to determine the champions gave Waregem a chance of claiming the title going into the final weekend, but a draw in a match between the two teams was enough for Anderlecht.

Hazard scored his fourth goal of the season in the penultimate of 34 appearances, and a sign of the 20-year-old's progress is his first call-up to the full Belgian national squad for a friendly against the USA at the end of the month.

Kevin De Bruyne finished the German season in final fettle, netting four goals in three games for Werder Bremen. His season's total was 10 in 34 games, with an additional 10 assists.

Our trio of players at Vitesse Arnhem helped the Dutch club to fourth in their league and qualification into Europa League.Patrick van Aanholt started all but three of the league games and Tomas Kalas in all but one, when he came on as a sub. Gael Kakuta played 22 of the 34 games, scoring once.

Africa Cup of Nations winner Kenneth Omerou was near ever-present for ninth-placed Den Haag in the same league.

The Spanish second division, like the top flight, continues and so far, Ulises Davila has five goals in 35 games for his loan club Sabadell, who are mid-table with two games to go.

The Croatian league finished at the weekend with goalkeeper Matej Delac, who returned on loan to his former club Inter Zaprešić, helping them to a 10th place finish out of 12 clubs.

Pride of place at the end of the English league season for Chelsea players out on loan went to Romelu Lukaku, who finished with 17 goals from 38 appearances for West Brom, including a hat-trick as a second-half substitute against Manchester United on the final day.