Loan Watch: What players could play a part in Frank Lampard's plans? 
Loftus Cheek signing a contract extension at Stamford Bridge/Photo Credit- Darren Walsh

Likely Returns 

The first part of this article will look at players who could make a return to Stamford Bridge, with the Chelsea FC loan list extending to 29 players in total this piece will only cover some of the more notable players. 

1. Ruben Loftus-Cheek 

Breaking through the Chelsea youth system Loftus Cheek was a player rated very highly over the years with the likes of Maurizio Sarri, Jose Mourinho, and Antonio Conte singing his praise. 

Cheek's form for Chelsea immediately after the 2018 World Cup was so good that it caught the attention of Gareth Southgate at the time earning him a place in Southgate's Nation League final squad. Unfortunately for the 24-year-old Lewisham-born midfielder, he suffered a serious Achilles injury in a pre-season friendly for Chelsea in the United States putting him out of action for 13 months. 

Currently, Loftus-Cheek is on loan at Fulham under Scott Parker, making 11 top-flight appearances for The Cottagers and recently impressing in a 1-1 draw at Tottenham. Frank Lampard has been impressed with the form of Loftus-Cheek as of late and is keen on having Cheek back so long as the run of good form continues. 

Loftus-Cheek could be a really good midfield option for Chelsea, and recalling him back to Stamford Bridge may not be the worst idea right now. 

2. Conor Gallagher 

Embed from Getty Images

After impressing at Swansea 20-year-old Gallagher made a loan move to the baggies where he has been a beacon of light in a struggling side. 

Right now Gallagher is being exposed to a lot of first-team football at West Brom and is a regular name in the team sheet for Sam Allardyce, but despite Gallagher's quality, there is an element of doubt whether he would garner as much game time for the Blues right now with fierce competition in midfield positions.

Reports show that West Brom will most likely keep Gallagher for the remainder of the season, but you just never know down the line if Gallagher could make a return to Stamford Bridge.

3. Ethan Ampadu 

One player on loan at the moment who has received mixed opinions from Blades fans is Ethan Ampadu. After a failed loan stint at German club RB Leipzig, Ampadu found himself joining Chris Wilder's Sheffield United. 

What is impressive with Ampadu is the versatility of being able to play in either the centre-back or Central midfield position, although if Chelsea do end up getting Declan Rice then the jury will most likely be out on the 20-year-old Wales International, only time will tell. 

4. Marc Guehi 

Embed from Getty Images

Next on the list is 20-year-old Ivorian born defender Marc Guehi, currently on loan at Championship side Swansea. Having shone as a youth player at Chelsea, Guehi is now one of the most highly regarded defenders in the Championship with the Swans currently sitting in 2nd place four points behind current Championship leaders Norwich on 50 points. 

The centre-back position is one Chelsea should look to target and strengthen in, and reports from Matt Law at The Telegraph suggest Chelsea could look to be securing Guehi in the summer. 

Unlikely to return 

The final part of this article shows players who will most likely not return back to Stamford Bridge, despite some of their underlying quality they have shown. 

1. Michy Batshuayi 

The first entrant on this list is none other than 27-year-old Belgium international Michy Batshuayi. The Belgium forward currently finds himself on loan at Crystal Palace, this will be his second loan spell at the Croydon-based club after his first successful spell at the Eagles resulted in Batshuayi netting 6 goals in 13 appearances in the 2018/19 season. 

Batshuayi's Chelsea career has been up and down at times, and overall the striker has scored 25 goals in 77 appearances for The Blues. Despite clinching important goals for Chelsea such as the 1-0 win over West Brom to clinch the Premier League title in the 2016/17 season and scoring the winning goal against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League it's hard to see Batshuayi having a future at the club. 

With the progression of Tammy Abraham, new signing Timo Werner and the experience of Olivier Giroud, it leaves no room for the out-of-favour Batshuayi at Crystal Palace. Although the fans will have fond memories of his time spent at Stamford Bridge. 

2. Tiemoue Bakayoko 

Next up on the list of the loan army is Bakayoko, a player who many Chelsea fans had high hopes for, but it was a rather disappointing signing in the end.  

The French midfielder is currently playing at Napoli on his third loan spell away from Chelsea. The Frenchmen is a regular starter in Gennaro Gattuso's side, and Chelsea will be hoping to sell the 26-year-old in the summer.  

Napoli currently sit third in Serie A on 34 points, six points behind Inter Milan. 

3. Ross Barkley 

The final player for this list is Ross Barkley, with the 27-year-old currently on loan at Premier League side Aston Villa. Barkley joined Chelsea from Everton in 2018 with a fee coming to £15 million pounds plus add-ons. 

During his time at Everton Barkley impressed, and many Chelsea fans were excited at the prospect of the signing. Despite being an ex England international Barkley's time at Chelsea hasn't been what fans wanted and Chelsea fans saw glimpses of the players' quality. 

Barkley is currently playing some of his best football again under Dean Smith at Aston Villa, forming a working partnership with Jack Grealish. Despite being side-lined at the moment with a hamstring injury at  the 27-year-old English midfielder has registered two goals and one assist in six Premier League appearances for the Villains. 

Should Aston Villa sign Ross Barkley on a permanent deal it will most likely come at a cost with the rumoured figure being around £30 million pounds with Barkley's contract at Chelsea running out in 2023.

Agree or disagree with this list? Let us know in the comments down below!

VAVEL Logo