FIFA to limit number of players allowed out on loan: How will Chelsea be impacted?

FIFA has passed a ruling that limits the number of players a club can loan out to eight players. There is no limit placed upon under-21 players brought through clubs’ academies.

Chelsea currently have 38 players out on loan. Many of them are over 21 and Chelsea will have to call them back when the ruling takes effect.

Bertrand Traore on loan at Vitesse. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Chelsea could choose to abandon their strategy of signing young players who have little chance of featuring in the first-team, loaning them out and selling them at a profit.

If Chelsea continue with this model, they will need to find a place for these players to feature regularly and increase their transfer value.

As more English clubs find themselves with too many players that they cannot loan, their youth teams become ever more important and the only place these players can pick up regular action.

Blackburn Rovers U23 v Chelsea U23 (Photo by Clive Howes/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

What may result from this UEFA ruling is an emergence of the same system that we see in Spain. Real Madrid and Barcelona’s B teams compete alongside senior professionals in the leagues below La Liga.

Similarly, Chelsea’s youth teams could play in the senior leagues alongside Conference, League One or League Two teams.

FC Barcelona B in action. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Young Chelsea players would get playing time at senior level in these lower leagues and potentially increase their transfer value in the process.

Therefore, the Blues would be able to continue their buying and selling policy. Furthermore, the players get their footballing education without ever leaving on loan.