Chelsea loanees face pivotal seasons all across England

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Tammy Abraham of Chelsea celebrates scoring a goal during the FA Youth Cup Fina, Second Leg match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on April 27, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Tammy Abraham of Chelsea celebrates scoring a goal during the FA Youth Cup Fina, Second Leg match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on April 27, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images) /

The upcoming season is vital if Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham want to continue their promising development.

Both of them have been given ideal loan moves to Premier League sides (Crystal Palace for Loftus-Cheek and Swansea City for Abraham). They are also both on the cusp of the England national team, so a good season could see them sneak into the 2018 World Cup squad. Aged 21 and 19 respectively, they are both in a key stage of their careers. Getting game-time at a high level is key due to it allowing the players to develop tactically and mentally.

Chelsea’s loan system has its detractors, but these two could prove them wrong in the upcoming season. Some would argue that the system is designed to purely make money on young players. However, a strong showing in the Premier League this season could easily see them given a place in Chelsea’s first team next season.

They have both shown their talent with the English youth teams. Abraham had a strong showing at the U-21 Euros as England made it to the semi-finals. Loftus-Cheek was unable to go to the same tournament due to a back injury, but he was the star of the 2016 Toulon Tournament, which England won. They now need to push on and show their quality consistently in the Premier League.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

There is still uncertainty over which position is the best for Loftus-Cheek. Antonio Conte believed that he was suited to being a second striker due to his physicality and technique. During the Toulon Tournament, last summer, he excelled in a ‘number 10’ playmaker role. He played a pivotal role in pulling apart opposition defences between the lines with his link-up play, expert finishing and precise through balls.

At Palace, he is more likely to play in a centre midfield role. This will allow him to use his strength and acceleration to dribble past players from deep. He would also have more time on the ball to use his vision and range of passing to dissect the opposition. Therefore, it would suit his range of abilities, but he does have the flexibility to play other positions if needed.

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Having Frank De Boer as manager is a promising sign due to his positive record with youth. His brief time at Inter Milan may have affected his reputation, but he excelled at Ajax. He won four consecutive Eredivisie titles in the first four out of six seasons at the club.

During this period of success, he gave debuts to young players such as Christian Eriksen, Riechedly Bazoer and Davy Klaassen who were often sold on for profit a few years later. This means he has plenty of experience at bringing through youth players while maintaining a high standard of play.

Palace have a talented squad which can help get the best out of Loftus-Cheek. Christian Benteke, Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend offer a variety of offensive weapons to break down the opposition defence. There is also Yohan Cabaye who acts as a pivot which Loftus-Cheek can play off.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images. /

Tammy Abraham 

The young striker had a breakthrough season last year with an impressive spell at Bristol City in which he scored 26 goals. He then continued this at the U-21 Euros, but this ended with disappointment as he missed a crucial penalty in the semi-final shootout with Germany.

Moving to Swansea on loan is a clear sign of progression for Abraham because it’s a direct step up from the Championship. Having regular game-time at this high level allows him to get used to the physical, high intensity style as well as the technical demands of the Premier League.

Paul Clement is an upcoming manager who has plenty of experience due to being an understudy to Carlo Ancelotti. His time as manager of Derby County and last season at Swansea City showed that he has a clear vision of how he wants his teams to play. He’s willing to trust youth as well with Tom Carroll and Alfie Mawson being given key roles in the team. This suits Abraham because he is likely to get plenty of game-time in the upcoming season.

The Swans have a strong squad which has the creative tools that could allow Abraham to excel. Fernando Llorente is a talented target man who Abraham could learn from. He is likely to be backup to the Spaniard striker, but Clement could play them both to give the opposition more to think about. Gylfi Sigurðsson is the creative genius in the team through his set-piece ability, and his ability to find a killer pass in the final third.

Photo by Lukasz Szelag/Getty Images.
Photo by Lukasz Szelag/Getty Images. /

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Two other young English players also have a key season ahead of them for different reasons. Dominic Solanke moved to Liverpool, for a tribunal settled fee of £3 million, due to being unhappy at the amount of playing time he was getting at Chelsea. Nathaniel Chalobah is likely to do the same with Watford being heavily linked with him for around £5 million.

Solanke was voted the best player at the U-20 World Cup, in the summer, as he helped England win the tournament. It will be interesting to see how much Jürgen Klopp utilises him in the upcoming season. The Reds have the Champions League to contend with as well as the usual domestic commitments.

Next: Chelsea's £125 million transfer plan

Chalobah was an effective defensive screen for England at the U-21 Euros. The team struggled without him against Germany when he had to be substituted due to injury. Moving permanently to another Premier League club is a smart decision. He is unlikely to get much playing time at Chelsea especially with the arrival of Tiemoué Bakayoko. At £5 million, Chalobah is an absolute bargain for whoever decides to buy him.