Jacob Mellis has this morning joined Southampton on loan, staying with the League One club until January 2nd, with an option to extend the deal for the entire season if all parties wish.

It’s a traditional step to take for a player in his third year at the club, and one Jacob probably needed to have the opportunity to do. After excelling at reserve team level towards the end of last season, a further spell at this level with the transfer window closed wouldn’t have aided his development. Chelsea have a good relationship with Southampton, loaning them Jack Cork last season and allowing them to sign Jack Saville in April, and with Dean Wilkins – brother of Ray – in place as Assistant Manager at St. Mary’s, relations are becoming stronger.

In terms of playing time, he’ll have a chance to make an impact, but with the team recently spending over £1m on Rickie Lambert, they may be looking to spend further before the end of August, and that will truly decide whether he plays often or not. He’s arguably good enough to prove useful to them, but now is the time for him to prove it.

Mellis’ loan marks a continued and vigorous policy of loaning this summer at Cobham, with Ryan Bertrand, Scott Sinclair, Lee Sawyer, Tom Taiwo, Miroslav Stoch, Patrick van Aanholt, and yesterday Michael Mancienne all finding temporary homes. Expect Nana Ofori-Twumasi to join that list before long, and perhaps ominously Gael Kakuta, as his absence from recent reserve fixtures strikes a similarity with Mellis’.

More on this story throughout the day.

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