In our Loan Watch feature series, the Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a selection of players from a particular club are faring whilst they are away from their parent side, and provide a brief update regarding their form.
As Chelsea continue their good form back home, here are three Blues players striving for form elsewhere, with contrasting reports on show this week.
Mario Pasalic was Atalanta’s saviour as they came from behind to draw against Manchester City in the Champions League last week, with the Blues loanee grabbing the equaliser that helped keep the Serie A outfit’s faint Champions League hopes alive.
The Croatian was unable to repeat his heroics in the league at Sampdoria this weekend as their quest to qualify for next year’s competition took another hit, but the German-born midfielder is certainly doing all he can to finish his two-year loan on a high in Italy’s top flight.
While Alvaro Morata still qualifies for this feature before his move turns permanent in the summer, it is certainly worth taking note of his continuing success back in Spain, with the 27-year-old on target in Atletico Madrid’s Champions League defeat to Bayer Leverkusen last week, and followed up with another in their victory over Espanyol in La Liga this weekend.
His strikes stretched his scoring run to six games, which started in mid-October against the German outfit, and has since earned him a regular starting place in Diego Simeone’s team.
The Spaniard seems to feel right at home there, with Morata already over halfway to matching his Chelsea goal tally in less than half the appearances, with 13 in 30 for Madrid so far (compared to 24 in 72 at the Bridge).
Unfortunately for Tiemoue Bakayoko, his ever-present run since re-joining the Monaco squad in September has been halted by an ankle injury, which has seen him miss the last two league matches for his club.
His side won 1-0 against Dijon without him at the weekend and have now won five out of their last seven in the league, with Bakayoko a key figure, playing every minute of the seven matches that preceded his injury.
He had helped the side recover from a winless start to the campaign, with the French club sitting in mid-table of a tight Ligue 1, just a point off fifth place despite currently being placed 11th.
While the likes of Pasalic and Morata can certainly be pleased with their week’s work, the same cannot be said for Bakayoko, who has not been able to get on the pitch.
Morata may not be returning to Stamford Bridge, but he has shown what the Blues could have had after bagging yet again in Atletico Madrid’s recent games, although Pasalic has shown he has attacking qualities of his own after his goalscoring exploits for Atalanta.
Both he and Bakayoko do present future prospects for Chelsea, and if Frank Lampard deems it so, they could yet continue the trend of successful returning loanees at Stamford Bridge judging by the respective successes they have had for their temporary sides.
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