Reason Chelsea cancel two loans to leave five January transfer decisions to make
The January transfer window is open and already Chelsea have produced some decisive action. The Blues have not shied away from making quick decisions on some players that they have sent out on loan this season when their move has not proved beneficial.
Zak Sturge was the first player to be recalled by the west London side. The young defender struggled to earn minutes for Peterborough United with stiff competi
The 19-year-old made eight League One appearances but never from the start and could only make Darren Ferguson’s starting lineup within cup competitions.
Andrey Santos has also seen his stay away from the club end. The Brazilian midfielder was only able to earn two appearances for Nottingham Forest to leave the Blues with a simple decision to facilitate his return, though his next step may prove more difficult to decide.
football.london takes a look at the remaining players who may not have found their feet on loan this term, and could also be considered for a recall.
Teddy Sharman-Lowe – Having started the season in goal for Bromley, Chelsea’s young goalkeeper has endured plenty of time on the bench since. Sharman-Lowe is working under Bromley boss who has previously worked as goalkeeper coach for Newcastle, Crystal Palace and Arsenal and will be benefitting from working in a senior football environment but may prefer more playing time to continue his development.
Charlie Webster – The 19-year-old midfielder made the move to Heerenveen in the Eredivisie in the summer and has since struggled for minutes. He earned his first start as early as September and scored on his full debut in the league but soon after saw a red card that kept him out of the next games. Since then his influence has been fleetingly felt from the bench and Webster has made some appearances for the Dutch side’s under-21 side where he has picked up a goal and an assist in three appearances.
It is the youngster’s first move away from the club and to take a step away from the United Kingdom could add further difficulties so extra allowance could be made. However he is currently set to see his Chelsea contract expire in the summer, though the club hold an option for a further year.
The next six months will see Webster hope to prove himself, and with the Dutch league currently on their winter break until this weekend, perhaps the Cobham star can impress on his way back to action. If things don’t look great or another option is on the table it will be something for player and club to consider.
Diego Moreira – Having arrived in the summer and taken part in Chelsea’s pre-season tour, Moreira made his debut for the club in the Carabao Cup while also featuring for the development squad. It was even in the midst of playing in Premier League 2 he departed to complete a loan to Lyon at the end of the window.
The 19-year-old has made just six Ligue 1 appearances in a struggling Lyon side. The youngster has shown moments of promise but probably spent too long on the bench.
Having already appeared for the Blues this term, he would not be able to go out on loan once again so any loan recall would see him spend time between Chelsea’s first team and development squad.
Mason Burstow – The young forward finds himself in a similar predicament to Moreira. Having featured for the first team in the Premier League after an impressive pre-season, Burstow either has to persist at Sunderland or return to Cobham.
The former Charlton forward started the season in Sunderland’s starting lineup but fell out of favour and has yet to score a goal for the Black Cats. The striker has made it onto the pitch just once in Sunderland’s last seven matches but has recently found a new boss in Michael Beale.
Earlier this week, Beale suggested there had been no conversation over a possible return for Burstow.
He said: “I’ve just come in and I’m having a look at these players. I gave Mason a go (off the bench at Rotherham), I gave young Eliezer a go off the bench against Coventry City last week. I’m looking at the boys in the training, it’s my first time working with them and it’s been spoken about enough that the strikers we brought in haven’t scored yet.
“I’m looking and seeing, and we’ll assess as the window opens what it is that we’ll do, but my focus at the moment is working with them in training, getting them in front of the goal and scoring. There’s a lot of work going on in the background with these strikers and I think it’s clear that, as a team, we need to convert our possession into more shots and then more goals.”
David Datro Fofana – The Ivory Coast forward’s loan looked a good move that was completed early from the outset. Fofana was heading to a Champions League club and showed promise in pre-season but has netted just twice as Union Berlin have struggled to replicate their 2022/23 form.
The 21-year-old saw a brief spat with Urs Fischer that resulted in a ban by the club, and started off on the wrong foot with new boss Nenad Bjelica that saw him miss out on a Union squad. After scoring his first league goal, Bjelica believes Fofana can kick on however: “We know that he has talent and quality, but he still has to work hard. If he understands that, he can become a very great player.”
With Fofana scoring in his final match before the break, there may be some hope that some success can be salvaged from the loan move yet.