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TOP 5: Which loanees are destined for the Chelsea first team?

The Chelsea Football Club has a mammoth 33 players out on loan across Europe this season.


tribalfootball.com
takes an inside look into the Chelsea youngsters who could push for first-team selection once their time away from Stamford Bridge is over.

TRIBAL'S TOP 5 CHELSEA LOANEES


1. Lewis Baker (Vitesse Arnhem)

The 20-year-old midfielder has impressed early in his spell in the Eredivisie with Vitesse.

Baker, who had a positive stint with MK Dons in the second half of last season, has already made an impact at the GelreDome in his four league starts.

The former Sheffield Wednesday loanee has been given penalty duties by Vitesse manager Peter Bosz and has converted from 12 yards on two occasions for the seventh-placed side.

Baker has been patrolling the centre of the pitch for the Arnhem outfit where he will spend the 2015/16 season alongside fellow Blues Izzy Brown, Dom Solanke, Danilo Pantic and Nathan.

Developing nicely and gaining invaluable experience, albeit in a weaker league.


2. Nathan Ake (Watford)

While he may not have a plethora of experience at senior level, big things are expected from Ake.

There 20-year-old Dutch defensive midfielder has been sent to Watford in a bid to force Premier League experience down his throat.

The beauty about Ake is that he can also be deployed at left-back or as a central defender if required, which gives Quique Flores further options for his multicultural Hornets squad.

Ake has 12 appearances for the Blues and five on loan for Reading last season and with some top flight maturity this term, could become an option for Jose Mourinho in the future.


3. Jordan Houghton (Gillingham)

19-year-old midfielder Houghton has taken to life in League One without a problem in the world.

The England U20 international has started al six of Gillingham's third tier fixtures, finding himself mixing midfield duties with defensive obligations for Justin Edinburgh's side.

Former Chelsea U21 skipper Houghton's influence has helped guide the Gills to the top of the table in the early stages of the new season and he has already won over the faithful at Priestfield Stadium.

Houghton is enjoying Gillingham's high temp football and if he continues on in this vein, then senior selection at Stamford Bridge may not be too far away.


4. Michael Hector (Reading)

The most interesting transfer on deadline day was that of Michael Hector from Reading to Chelsea.

The Blues were supposed to be putting all of their efforts into signing John Stones for big money from Everton but instead went for the much more efficient pairing of Papy Djilobodji and Hector.

Some Chelsea fans would have had to type the 23-year-old's name into 'Google' to see who on earth Mourinho was bringing to The Bridge.

The jury is still massively out on the Jamaican international who has spent time on loan with such prestigious clubs as Bracknell Town, Didcot Town, Havant & Waterlooville, Horsham and Dundalk, but there has to be a reason the reigning English champions spent £4.5 million on his services.

The former Aberdeen man has started just once for the Royals in the Championship this term but I sense Mourinho has a plan for the East London native.


5. Alex Davey (Peterborough United)

Alex Davey is certainly a work in progress and may take a little longer than some of these others to come on, but there is no doubting his potential.

The 20-year-old has started life in League One impressively in his six starts for Peterborough United and will only benefit from the exposure of playing regularly at senior level.

Davey is most at home in central defence but can also operate at right-back and his bright start with the Posh has already been rewarded by a loan extension of four months on the initial one-month deal which will see him stay at London Road until January.

Despite Peterborough's recent sacking of manager Dave Robertson, expect England-born Scotland youth international Davey to continue his rapid progress in England's third tier.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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