With Chelsea struggling at the moment under Rafa Benitez, and even look in short of players in some areas of the pitch, it is always surprising to hear how many excellent players they have out on loan.
Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois have drawn the headlines recently, but Kevin de Bruyne has been quietly excellent for Werder Bremen this season, and given the lack of opportunities he is likely to get at his parent club, De Bruyne could end up staying in the Bundesliga next season.
This would be a huge mistake for Chelsea, who would be crazy to let De Bruyne leave before giving him a chance to impress in their first team. The Belgian is only 21, and has picked up four goals and five assist in his 20 appearances for Bremen this season. Chelsea paid £7 million for his services, and to let him leave before ever appearing in the senior squad would be foolhardy.
Clearly Chelsea have plenty of quality players in their attacking midfield, but looking at the way the season has panned out, it is arguably true to say that De Bruyne could have been useful even this season.
Marko Marin has been incredibly disappointing in the limited appearances he has made, Moses and Hazard have been unavailable for various reasons at times and Juan Mata will likely need resting given his busy summer of international football last year. The fact than Ryan Bertrand has been used in an attacking role so many times indicate that perhaps Chelsea could have found room in the starting eleven for De Bruyne on several occasions.
Chelsea have an abundance of bright young talent currently out on loan, but rumblings from Courtois, De Bruyne and Lukaku have at times indicated those players don’t feel confident they will ever break into the Chelsea team. It would be criminally unwise for the club to develop those players only to never give them a chance in the first team.