LOAN WATCH – Scouting Report: Chelsea’s Hazard and Bamford firing at Zulte and MK Dons, QPR’s Remy in form for Newcastle

After two months of the new season, we thought we would take a quick look at which loan players have been in form for their temporary clubs.

Thorgan Hazard – Chelsea to Zulte Waregem

To say Chelsea’s 18-year old Thorgan Hazard has had a good start to the season would be an understatement.

The younger brother of Blues star Eden is playing well above his years in his second loan spell with Belgian Pro League side Zulte Waregem.

In ten league appearances this season, Hazard has managed an outstanding eight goals and seven assists, which is enough for him to sit fourth in the league’s top scorers list.

His form has had a major contribution to Zulte’s solid position on the league table with the Essevee currently sitting third with 23 points, four points behind leaders Standard Liege.

Despite Blues fans’ excitement at the uncovering of another Belgian gem, Hazard himself is remaining grounded in the knowledge that playing football is the most important thing a young player can do.

“I really feel that Chelsea believes in me. To play for Chelsea is a dream. But when I see the difficulties of Kevin De Bruyne ... He is so good and is still on the bench. This made me realize that I should not jump too soon,” he said.

Loic Remy – QPR to Newcastle United

The Frenchman has started life in Tyneside on fire, scoring five goals in his first six games for the Magpies. He has given the St James’ Park side a touch of class with his superb pace, power and eye for goal.

Remy decided against a move to Newcastle in January, instead joining QPR from Marseille in an £8 million move. The R’s were eventually relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season and this paved the way for Remy to make the switch to United on a season-long loan deal.

The 26-year old has played at the highest level with numerous appearances in the Champions League and 20 international caps for his native France. Combined with his stellar start to the season, it is no wonder that Newcastle are reportedly looking to make the deal permanent so says manager Alan Pardew.

"There is (something in place for him) but it's complicated and I can't really go into that in too much detail, but what I would say about him is that he's given us what we didn't have last year,” the Toon boss said.

"That is a striker who can play, build the game and finish. As you're seeing with the goals he's rattling in here, he's got a nice manner about him, he's comfortable with our group, he has a confidence to play for Newcastle and that isn't easy, so we've been very pleased with him."

Romelu Lukaku – Chelsea to Everton

Romelu Lukaku is beginning to rise to the next level during his current loan spell with Everton, despite already showing last season that he is capable of playing in the Premier League following a successful stint with West Bromwich Albion.

Lukaku’s four goals in his first three games for the Toffees was a statement, one certainly heard loud and clear by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho. The ‘Special One’ will be ruing his decision to let the 20-year old Belgian leave Stamford Bridge with his current striking options of Samuel Eto’o and Fernando Torress unable to fire (the former did manage to score on the weekend).

Although, Lukaku has revealed that he instigated the loan: “I did not know if I would be playing for Chelsea so I asked the manager to let me leave. We spoke and I told him,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

He has been dubbed the ‘new Didier Drogba’ since he made his debut for Anderlecht at 16. His combination of freakish strength and deceiving pace is jaw dropping and unfortunately for defenders, his physical presence makes it a tough day at the office, reminiscent of Lukaku’s boyhood hero in his prime.

Patrick Bamford – Chelsea to MK Dons

Lukaku isn’t the only Chelsea striker that is finding the back of the net away from Stamford Bridge. Add MK Dons loanee Patrick Bamford to the list.

The 20-year old was acquired by the Blues at the start of 2012 from Nottingham Forest and now on his second loan at the Buckinghamshire club, Bamford is showing why Chelsea first signed him – goalscoring nous.

He has opened the season with 12 goals in 16 games in all competitions and has showed his ability to score a variety of goals, both from within the box and from long range. Bamford’s game will only continue to grow with the rough and tumble nature of League One football.

Speaking to the Milton Keynes Citizen, MK Dons manager Karl Robinson has made it clear that his side will struggle without Bamford, whose loan expires in January.

“This year, they’re coming predominantly from one man. And we can’t just rely on Patrick,” he said.

The competition will be tough for Bamford when he returns to Chelsea with the likes of Eto’o and Torres demanding game time, however he is not doing himself any harm so far with his positive loan spell.

Pepe Reina – Liverpool to Napoli

Two costly mistakes marred Pepe Reina’s start to his loan spell with Napoli, however his form since then has been vintage with spectacular saves and penalty stops.

The reason he is one of the best loan performers so far this season is the fact that he has only conceded just four goals in seven games, which has contributed greatly to Napoli’s success this season as they lie second on the Serie A table, two points behind leaders Roma.

His best performance for the Naples club came when they defeated Milan 2-1 at the San Siro. The three points hung in the balance when Mario Balotelli stepped up to the penalty spot after the Italian was fouled inside the box. Reina dived low to his right to deny ‘Super Mario’ who had previously converted all 21 of his penalty attempts.

Rumours have circulated that Reina’s former club Barcelona may be interested in acquiring his services with current keeper Victor Valdes expected to become a free agent in the summer.

 
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