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Chelsea's 26 loan rangers fighting to earn Stamford Bridge return (1)

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Football News

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has every reason to be very pleased with his transfer business this summer, with the arrival of star Atletico Madrid trio Diego Costa, Thibaut Courtois and Filipe Luis the crowning glory of a series of astute signings over the last three months.

Mourinho deserves praise for identifying targets that will immediately improve a superb squad and signing them with minimum fuss, but behind that push for success is a worrying trend in terms of the sheer number of players Chelsea have got on their books.

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At last count the Blues have a quite incredible 26 fringe players out on loan across the planet, stretching from Everton to Elche and even as far as Chile.

Is there an end goal?

A significant portion of these Chelsea starlets, fringe men or flops will never make the grade in West London but are still getting their wages picked up at least in part by the Blues.

Even the most ardent of Blues fans can't claim that taking advantage of the loan system to this extent is healthy in the long-term for Chelsea, particularly when players such as Gael Kakuta and Ryan Bertrand are included, former hopefuls that will clearly never be part of Mourinho's plans.

There are hopefully some diamonds in the rough though that can force their way into Mourinho's thinking by producing consistent performances, if one of what must be an army of Chelsea scouts charged with tracking their progress is able to send back a glowing report.

With Romelu Lukaku and indeed Thibaut Courtois proving that you can use the right loan to further your career, even if in some cases it is away Chelsea, here are five fledging Chelsea figures you need to keep an eye on over the next 12 months, just incase Mourinho doesn't.

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