Chelsea have garnered a reputation over the years for sending out dozens of players out on loan, and this season has been no exception for the west London side.
27 players have left Stamford Bridge on loan at some point this season, and for Chelsea, most of these deals have been beneficial for both the club and for those who have left the Premier League giants for the campaign.
This year has seen numerous players take their game to the next level, and here is what we think is the best Chelsea loan XI of the season, with some names in this team likely to be considered by Thomas Tuchel this summer ahead of the new campaign.
GK – Jamie Cumming
Playing for two League One sides this season, Jamie Cumming established himself as an outstanding young goalkeeper after impressing with both Gillingham and MK Dons, with the 22-year-old playing a key role in getting the latter into the play-offs at the end of the campaign.
Whilst the Dons’ season ended in a semi-final defeat to Wycombe Wanderers, Cumming has seen his stock rise considerably this year, and a loan move to a Championship or European side is likely on the agenda for the Winchester-born youngster this summer.
RB – Emerson Palmieri
Playing out of position just to fit him into our XI, Emerson Palmieri has been exceptional for Olympique Lyonnais this season, so much so that Chelsea were desperate to bring the Italian international back early from his loan spell in January following the long-term injury to Ben Chilwell.
Despite financial efforts to bring the 27-year-old back to west London, Lyon shot down all attempts from Chelsea to recall Emerson, and this summer could see the defender return to the French giants on a permanent deal after impressing in a big way for the Ligue 1 side.
CB – Jake Clarke-Salter
A defender who just feels like he will spend his entire Chelsea career out on loan, Jake Clarke-Salter departed the English capital for the fifth time since becoming a professional, joining Coventry City for the year.
Injury problems kept the 24-year-old from playing as many games as the defender would have wanted, but Clarke-Salter was still impressive in the Championship for Coventry, with the defender likely to leave Chelsea again on loan this summer for the sixth time.
CB – Ethan Ampadu
Ethan Ampadu is regarded by many as one of Chelsea’s most exciting youth talents, and this season saw the Wales international experience his first real taste of top-level football with Venezia FC.
Whilst the Venetian side finished rock bottom in the Serie A standings, Ampadu’s year out in Italy has been crucial to the 21-year-old’s development, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the defender becomes a part of Tuchel’s plans for next season.
CB – Levi Colwill
Chelsea loaned out many U-23 players for the season for their first steps in the professional game, and the one name who impressed the most from the pack this year has been Levi Colwill at Huddersfield Town.
The teenage defender quickly established himself as one of the Championship’s best young centre-backs, and with a play-off final on the horizon for Colwill, the England youth international will be looking to help Huddersfield return to the Premier League after a stellar campaign in the second-tier.
LB – Ian Maatsen
Another Chelsea academy talent who made significant progress in their development this season is Ian Maatsen, with the fullback joining Clarke-Salter to Coventry City and playing a crucial role for the Sky Blues.
The fullback made over 40 appearances for the Championship side with Maatsen now reportedly a target for Borussia Dortmund, a move that could be tempting for the Netherlands youth star given how unlikely it will be for the defender to play for the Chelsea senior squad next season.
CM – Danny Drinkwater
Not many Chelsea fans would have expected Danny Drinkwater to end up in this XI when Billy Gilmour was also out on loan this season, but when you compare the two midfielders together, the former England international has blitzed his Scottish counterpart out of the water.
Drinkwater is set to leave Chelsea at the end of his contract this summer, and his loan spell at Reading will likely attract potential suitors for the former Leicester City star, with the midfielder impressing for the Royals despite their poor Championship season.
CM – Conor Gallagher
Gilmour might not make the XI, but Conor Gallagher most certainly does, with the midfielder enjoying a breakout season with Crystal Palace and winning his first England international caps in the process.
The youngster has been a sensation with the south London side this campaign, and with Premier League clubs now interested in Gallagher, the Chelsea talent has some major decisions to make in the coming months ahead of his return to Stamford Bridge.
CAM – Tino Anjorin
Originally signed by Ralf Rangnick during his brief stint as head of transfers for Lokomotiv Moscow, Tino Anjorin’s time in Russia was cut short when injury kept the talented midfielder out on the sidelines for months.
There is a happy ending to this story, though, as the 20-year-old headed back out on loan, this time with Huddersfield Town, where the attacking prospect has since returned to first-team action ahead of what will be a massive 22/23 season for Anjorin.
ST – Armando Broja
After an impressive season with Chelsea’s second-team Vitesse last year, Armando Broja took his talents to the Premier League this campaign, and in doing so, became a star for Southampton.
Morphing into a replacement for Danny Ings, Broja has caught the attention of some big clubs ahead of the summer, and with Chelsea unlikely to drop the Romelu Lukaku project just yet, the Albanian international could leave west London on a permanent deal.
ST – Michy Batshuayi
Michy Batshuayi’s fall from grace from Chelsea cult icon to another clog in the loan machine has been sad to see for many neutral supporters, yet this season has been one of the striker’s best in a very long time.
14 goals in all competitions for Turkish giants Besiktas has reinvigorated Batshuayi’s, and this summer, the Belgian striker should be doing all he can to leave Chelsea for good after a blistering season away from the Blues.