It’s been a weekend of high highs and frustrating lows for Chelsea youngsters both at the club and on temporary leave. Whilst many toiled on substitute benches or fitness tables around England, Miroslav Stoch was adding his name to FC Twente’s scoresheet for the first time, and Fabio Borini was making his professional debut at Stamford Bridge.
Whilst it isn’t loan news, we’ll start with Borini, who has had a bit of a rapid rise to his current status. After continuing his prolific reserve form he was called into the Champions League squad last week by Carlo Ancelotti due to a lack of strikers, and was an unused substitute against Porto. Having worked with the first team all week, he was again on the bench against Tottenham today, and with the game in stoppage time at 3-0 to Chelsea, Ancelotti chose to introduce his young Italian striker to the world for a cameo performance. Despite looking a little wide-eyed at what he was about to do, he involved himself well, threatening Vedran Corluka almost immediately and could have had himself a goal were it not for some selfish play by Salomon Kalou. He should be involved against QPR on Wednesday, continuing a magical September for the young striker.
The other big news of the weekend was Miroslav Stoch’s first goals for FC Twente, as he netted both in a 2-0 win at Heerenveen to put Steve McClaren’s team joint top of the Eredivisie. His first came off a fine give and go with Blaise N’Kufo, cutting inside from the left before sliding the ball past the goalkeeper with great composure. His second was the result of a darting run inside to meet a Bryan Ruiz through ball, before carrying it 20 yards to the edge of the area to fire across the goal into the bottom corner. After a fine start to his career in Holland, he has started to add goals to his game, which is clearly good for his development. Chelsea’s other loanee at the club, Slobodan Rajkovic, was once again missing with hamstring trouble. Chelsea have requested that he has surgery to address the issue, whilst Twente would prefer to rest the player until he is fit, which they say will be a quicker solution. We shall wait and see for the course of action taken.
Domestically, Scott Sinclair and Franco Di Santo once again had disappointing Premier League involvement. Sinclair got three minutes of substitute action in Wigan’s 4-0 demolition at Arsenal, whilst Di Santo wasn’t even in the matchday squad for Blackburn’s 3-0 defeat at Everton. Michael Mancienne did feature against Fulham, and despite conceding a penalty to Bobby Zamora for shirt-tugging, had what has been considered a largely impressive game.
Patrick van Aanholt missed out injured again for Coventry, but Jack Cork took his place in midfield away to Preston. The Sky Blues lost 3-2 and Cork was taken off with thirteen minutes to go with Chris Coleman seeking extra attacking help in the form of Ashley Cain. Down in Peterborough, Ryan Bertrand and Reading led 2-0 at half time, but their season continued to get worse as the Posh turned the game around to win 3-2. Whilst Bertrand had a decent game to most accounts, two of Peterborough’s goals came from his area of the pitch and whilst he wasn’t directly accountable, he might be disappointed at not being able to prevent them.
It was largely substitute action – or lack of it – in League One, with Lee Sawyer, Jacob Mellis and Tom Taiwo all consigned to watching from the dugout. Only Taiwo got on, as Carlisle lost 2-0 at Oldham. In what was a poor performance by the visitors, Taiwo appears to have been the only positive from their fixture:
“The ONLY positive from the entire game. Why was he not in the team from the start? Crisp in the tackle, neat passing, tried to keep it simple
The only player to show real positives today. Read the play well”
Mellis’ Southampton got their first win of the season beating Yeovil 2-0, whilst Southend beat Brighton 3-2 in stoppage time. Up at Stockport, Liam Bridcutt was present for 90 minutes as County beat Leyton Orient 2-1, putting in another effective shift. In four league fixtures at the club, Bridcutt has helped Stockport to two wins and a draw, vastly improving their fortunes.
Finally, we’ll take you to Croatia, where Chelsea’s newest loanee Matej Delac was in goal for Inter Zapresic on Friday night as they lost 2-1 to Medimurje Cakovec.
You can keep up to date with all Chelsea’s loanees here at CFCnet, and their statistical seasons on this page.