23 players. Yes , there are 23 players out on loan for Chelsea and yet we find ourselves complaining of having just about the thinnest squad in the English Premier League. Match congestion conflicting with poor results and lack of passion has formed a tendency to bond with disappointment and high fatigue levels.
Nothing much can be done other than starting a new save on Football Manager and taking out your frustration by winning everything and buying Falcao. However, here at 360, atleast I can analyze and field 2 separate teams consisting of our loan players. Yes 2 full fledged teams without any substitutes with formations suited to their abilities. In the first part we see the stronger of the two teams.
A classic 4-3-3 with the possibility of playing a False 9. 4-3-3’s are usually employed to compact the play in the middle and control possession. Think Barcelona.
Our talisman is Lukaku. The strongest striker out on loan from Chelsea at fellow English Premier League team, West Bromwich Albion. Lukaku is your typical Drogba when you see his physical appearance, but he can also use his pace along with his build to power past defenders and drag them out of shape.
Kevin De Bruyne has been loaned to Werder Bremen after being acquired from RC Genk. He is most comfortable at central midfield, but in recent games has been fielded on the left where he can provide assistance to Nils Petersen Petersen who is on loan from Bayern frequently shifts positions with Bruyne. This destroys teams that deploy the man marking system and this combined with Bruyne acting as False 9 and dragging center-backs away has been pivotal in Bremen’s 3 match winning streak, which was recently broken by Hamburger SV’s 3-2 win.
Lukaku is more than adept at playing on the wings and using the same shifting policy can be very useful for the manager.
Next up is Gael Kakuta. He is a natural right winger who can easily play on the right as well provided that he is allowed to cut in. This cutting in strategy can work well when De Bruyne comes in and drags defenders away. Graphically showing this-
The same goes for Thorgan Hazard. At the Jupiler league where is playing for Zulte, he has drifted a lot to the No.10 role and Kakuta’s area of deployment. He could easily fit into this and can cut in as well. Hence giving the team a solid attacking approach.
Next we have our pivot comprising of Essien and McEachran. Essien is a mixture of Ramires and Mikel. Under Mourinho at Madrid, he has played at right-back and this can help him cover the flanks as Ramires does for Chelsea in the pivot. His strong build also helps him come back and form a 3 man defense with the center-backs. McEachran is versatile and might not be the best defender but could give you a younger and much more attacking version of Lampard. He could join in the No.10 role with Thorgan and assist in attacks.
Then we have our defense. Chalobah and Bruma are more than expected to get loans into English Premier League teams next year. A very solid defensive partnership, with Chalobah being the Luiz. He loves to get forward but not very deep. He can be a good center-back option as well. On the left we have Aanholt, the first understudy of Ashley Cole. Very attacking, good pace and threatening with his brilliant crossing ability. On the right we have Wallace. I haven’t watched many games except 1 where he performed quite well. He has a tendency to cut in while going forward, and reminded me a lot of Bertrand as he can be used on the wings.
To summarize, I’m a 110% confident that this team can survive relegation and end up mid-table in the English Premier League with a decent manager. A 4-2-3-1 can also be played provided that the concept of False 9 is always practiced as the kind of players present make it very easy.