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.
Here, we look at three Chelsea players currently plying their trade away from Stamford Bridge as they strive for first-team football elsewhere. There seems to be a bittersweet theme as we catch up with the careers of winger Nathan, midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko and junior Serbia international Danilo Pantic.
23-year-old Nathan, who hasn’t long until his 18-month loan at Brazilian outfit Atletico Mineiro expires on 1st January, has nailed down a starting place in the team’s first XI, playing a full part in each of his side’s last four games in the Brazilian Serie A.
This weekend saw him score the opener as they held second-placed Palmeiras to a 1-1 draw, with an 83rd-minute equaliser denying Atletico Mineiro victory against a team who fell further behind league leaders Flamengo following the stalemate.
Elsewhere for Nathan, he was an unused substitute as his side were knocked out of the Copa Sudamericana – South America’s answer to the Europa League – on penalties by Argentinian club Colon, despite winning their second-leg tie 2-1 at the end of last week.
Since the last update on Tiemoue Bakayoko’s time at Monaco, the principality side have notched their first league wins of the season, with the on-loan midfielder playing every minute of their victories over Nice a fortnight ago and Stade Brest the following weekend.
The 25-year-old was booked in the Nice victory, which was Monaco’s first win in eight Ligue 1 games, with the team – including former Blue Cesc Fabregas – following it up four days later to escape the relegation zone at this early stage of the season.
However, they were unable to make it three wins in a row, as Bakayoko once again featured fully in a 3-1 reverse at Montpellier – though it seems the Frenchman is a vital component at his former club, where he won the title in 2017.
Danilo Pantic’s loan spell at Hungarian side MOL Vidi has taken a while to get going, but the 22-year-old has featured in the last two league games with appearances from the bench.
He made his league debut in Vidi’s only defeat of the campaign so far, with the club – which faced Chelsea in last year’s Europa League group stage – leading the Hungarian standings having won seven out of their first eight games.
The most recent of those was this weekend, with Pantic featuring once again as a substitute during a 2-1 win over Debrecen.
While it is pleasing that each of these loanees are getting match action, the results have not gone their way in the past week or so for the most part.
While Pantic’s minimal contribution for Vidi is nevertheless a step forward, the game time that the likes of Bakayoko and Nathan are enjoying shows what is achievable for the midfielder away from Stamford Bridge.
And although Nathan nor Bakayoko could end up on the right side of the scoreline this weekend, they look to be at least making promising progress outside of West London.
Chelsea fans, is any of the progress these players are making catching your eye? Join the discussion by commenting below!
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