With Financial Fair Play becoming a reality for big-spending clubs, it becomes even more important to find talent whilst they are still young and affordable. If they are simply a raw talent that will be moulded in to a first-team player with a few years of hard work then they will be sent out on loan.
This is a model that Chelsea appear to have adopted recently. The idea behind it is that, if executed properly, it is a sound business model with little to no risk involved. If a player is bought cheap and then sent out on loan to excel, and he does, then Chelsea have acquired a fantastic player without spending huge amounts of money.
If the player spends time on loan but is not deemed good enough for the first team, then the loan system acts as a type of advertisement. The player is showing the world that he is capable of and Chelsea will then break even or make a profit.
Players such as Kevin de Bruyne are great investments and Chelsea made almost three times what they originally paid for him. Players like Josh McEachran will probably not break into the first team but, if sold, then Chelsea make a profit.
In light of the options Chelsea has available on loan, here is the best Chelsea loan XI:
GK: Thibaut Courtois
The Belgian goalkeeper has become a hot commodity in world football. Voted the best 'keeper in La Liga last season, Jose Mourinho will hope for his return but will have to make a huge decision between Cech and Thibaut Courtois when the time comes. Neither 'keeper will want to play second fiddle.
RB: Patrick van Aanholt
It is looking likely that Dutch full-back Van Aanholt will be drafted in to the squad for next season. He can get forward and defend excellently and will be a fine addition to the Chelsea team.
CB: Kurt Zouma
Zouma was bought from Saint-Etienne recently and then sent back on loan for the rest of the season. The all-action and physically intimidating centre-half will almost certainly feature in Chelsea's plans for the 2014/2015 season. He is probably seen as the natural successor to John Terry and with David Luiz now playing in midfield more regularly, it leaves Chelsea short at the back.
CB: Kenneth Omeruo
For such a young man, Omeruo has a huge amount of experience - especially at international level with Nigeria. He is a strong centre-back but, whilst being immensely talented, will find it tough to nail down a permanent place in the Chelsea team.
Omeruo will most likely be a squad player in a couple of years. With Zouma coming in and Tomas Kalas ahead of him in the pecking order, it will be difficult.
LB: Ryan Bertrand
Bertrand has been put into the shop window after his recent loan move to Aston
Villa. Mourinho will be hoping the young left-back either impresses so much that he can feature in the Chelsea team next year, or well enough to sell when the opportunity arises in June.
Even though Bertrand featured often in pre-season, it became obvious that he was not a favoruite of the Portuguese and even fell behind Azpilicueta - a right-back - in the pecking order.
CM: Nathaniel Chalobah
Chalobah has a bright future. He has represented England and Chelsea at many youth levels and has impressed in the Championship. He will be given the chance in pre-season to show how ready he is and he must take it with both hands.
He will add to Chelsea's home-grown quota and truly fits the bill of a proper 'Chelsea lad'. He can play in centre-midfield, defensive-midfield or even at the heart of the defence.
CM: Oriol Romeu
If Romeu had not been so unlucky with serious, long-term injuries, he would be a mainstay in the Chelsea team already. His impressive displays for Valencia show just how capable he is.
A strong tackler who can play and is very calm in possession, he will return from his loan at Valencia with renewed hope and desire. If he stays fit, he will have a future for the Blues.
RM: Victor Moses
Moses will most likely be sold come June, you would think. He is simply not needed at Chelsea and occupies a position on the pitch where Chelsea are already very strong.
Moses had a great first (and only) season at Chelsea but was shipped out to Merseyside soon after.
LM: Marko Marin
Another player whose career was hindered by injuries, Marin made several appearances for the German national team.. Unfortunately, his value decreased after moving to Werder Bremen and he was bought when Chelsea were not sure whether they would have Champions League football for the next season. They won the Champions League, bought Eden Hazard and - for Marin - the rest is history.
AM: Lucas Piazon
Piazon has been in phenomenal form this season. He has excelled during his loan at Vitesse and will be pushing for a place in Mourinho's squad next season. He is probably not quite ready yet and a loan to a Premier League club will do him the world of good. A fantastic talent who will surely have an impact in the blue of Chelsea.
ST: Romelu Lukaku
Lukaku did not have much competition for the striker's spot in this loan XI, with Patrick Bamford the only other real alternative. Lukaku impressed with West Brom last year and is doing it again for Everton this year.
A recent injury has sidelined him for the foreseeable future but he will be hoping to start work with Mourinho as soon as possible. The Portuguese manager could mould Lukaku into one of the most feared strikers in Europe. Chelsea will undoubtedly try to sign a big name striker in June but Lukaku will hope for a chance to fight for his spot up front.
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