Andrew Slevison takes a close look at five of Chelsea's most promising youngsters now playing abroad on-loan.
The likes of Thibaut Courtois, Kevin de Bruyne and Josh McEachran are all flourishing away from Stamford Bridge at present and there are a number of other young Blues players getting regular game time elsewhere in Europe.
Here is our review of five players Chelsea moved heaven-and-earth to sign as teenagers and now are plying their trade away on loan.
The former France youth prodigy has taken time to develop since arriving in Southwest London and was subsequently sent on loan on four occasions in an attempt to improve his all-round game.
21-year old winger Kakuta spent time with Fulham and Bolton in 2011, both with limited minutes, before scoring four goals in 12 appearances for French club Dijon last season.
In the summer, Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem came calling for Kakuta, along with teammates Patrick van Aanholt and Tomas Kalas (who initially joined on loan in the summer of 2011) and the youngster has shown glimpses of why there was plenty of fuss regarding his move to Chelsea from Lens as a teenager in 2007.
There was plenty of interest in the development of Kakuta when he first signed for the Blues and although that has dropped off in recent years, if he can continue to grow in a first team environment then he may eventually be able to show the fans the form that earned him rave reviews upon his arrival in England.
However, he is also at the crossroads in his Chelsea career and if he doesn’t show the improvement the club is looking for, then both parties may agree on a premature departure.
The 19-year old Brazilian attacking midfielder has been compared with the likes of Kaka and Robinho and could get the opportunity to show those talents in the Primera Division as Malaga look to improve on their current standing of fifth.
Piazon, who arrived La Rosaleda less than a week ago was not part of Malaga’s matchday squad which drew 1-1 with Celta Vigo on the weekend but is sure to get some chances especially with Manuel Pellegrini’s men also focusing on their Champions League Round of 16 fixtures with FC Porto which begins next month.
Another youngster who seems to have been around for a very long time, van Aanholt is currently on his fifth loan deal since becoming a senior player in 2009.
The 22-year old left-back has been with the likes of Coventry City, Newcastle United, Leicester City and Wigan Athletic prior to his winter 2012 move to Vitesse where has since appeared 36 times in all competitions.
van Aanholt has started 18 of 19 league matches this season following Alexander Buttner’s move from Vitesse to Manchester United and has become a key part of Fred Rutten’s side which currently sits fifth on the Dutch Eredivisie table.
He has also appeared in four Europa League qualifiers this season, scoring in the 3-1 over Lokomotiv Plovdiv in July.
With time, van Aanholt could be the replacement for veteran Ashley Cole, quite possibly ahead of Ryan Bertrand, but much will hinge on how he performs in the second half of the 2012/13 season which will surely enhance his Chelsea first team chances for next term.
The 21-year old centre-back is in his second season on loan with German club Hamburg after being brought in by former Blues director Frank Arnesen.
Bruma has not featured prominently under Thorsten Frink this season with just 10 Bundesliga outings after appearing 22 times last term and there are suggestions he could join Kakuta, van Aanholt and Tomas Kalas at Vitesse.
Chelsea scout Piet de Visser has said a move to Holland could benefit Bruma – a four-times capped Dutch international – as regular playing time is paramount at this stage of his career.
Bruma is seen as a player who can hold down the central defensive position at Stamford Bridge in the future but he would require consistent game time now in order for that to occur.
The Czech Republic youth international, who made his senior international debut last year, is enjoying his second season-long loan with Vitesse.
19-year old defender Kalas began in central defence for the Dutch club but this season has been shifted to right-back where he has excelled.
19 starts in the league this season has taken his total appearances for Vitesse to 61 and it has been suggested that he will get a loan with a bigger club in a better competition next term.
Kalas is another long-term prospect at Stamford Bridge and if his rise to prominence in Holland is anything to go by, he will be a key contributor for the Blues in season to come.