Chelsea's youth sides have shown great potential in recent years, but these successes for upcoming players at Stamford Bridge seem to come at a price.
This season, Chelsea currently have 26 players out on loan, varying from first team squad members to youth team players, with 43 loan deals completed all season.
For some players the loan system is working, as demonstrated by Romelu Lukaku's £28 million transfer to Everton after fruitful temporary spells at Goodison Park and also with West Brom.
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Ryan Bertrand has also seen its benefit. Regular action away on loan resulted in first-team recognition and a Champions League debut back in the 2012 final in Munich. However, with various managers at Chelsea, his career stalled as Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho found him not suitable to their plans.
So his loan this season at Southampton seemed good for him - he managed to break into the Saints first team and was consequently signed for £10m in January on a permanent deal.
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Lack of chances
However, does the loan system really offer players a good enough chance to make it at Chelsea? As aforementioned, Chelsea's youth teams have had undeniable success in many competitions. But the last Chelsea player to really break into the first team from the academy is the club captain John Terry, who made his debut back in 1998.
It is a clear pattern that players who tend to sign for Chelsea at a young age do not make it into the first-team. One of the most notable examples is Gael Kakuta. Signed for Chelsea at age 15, the French youngster was tipped to be a real success for the Blues.
However, various loan deals across Europe and currently at Rayo Vallecano, he has failed to make an impact on the several managers that have been at the club since. Since making his Chelsea debut, the 23-year-old has made just 16 appearances in all competitions.
This evokes more fear for several players at Chelsea at the moment. Goalkeeper Matej Delac, 22, had a superb start to his career before it stalled. He also signed in 2009, and is yet to make an appearance for the club, despite a great future being predicted with his 38 appearances for Inter (Croatia) in his debut season, aged 16.
Moreover, Championship player of the year Patrick Bamford looks likely to rejoin Chelsea at the end of the season. With players like Dom Solanke and Izzy Brown on the team's books, can Bamford make it?
It's a shame, actually. So many players have had their potential ruined by the loan system and the transfer system. Josh McEachran, Oriol Romeu, Kenneth Omeruo and Lewis Baker - players with big potential but Chelsea careers seemingly beyond them.
A change to the loan system would force Chelsea to alter their approach and perhaps provide a clearer path from the academy to the first-team.
Chelsea fans: do you wish you saw more players rise from the academy into the first-team? Let us know below!
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