‘The new Lampard’, ‘the next Drogba’ and ‘he should be starting next season’ are just some of the phrases used as our loan players have lit up Europe this season.
Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois have all starred at a young age for their current clubs. Whether these players will return or go out on loan will be one – special -man’s decision. The best judge of these young talents is the fans that have watched them every game over the course of this season. We may see glimpses of what’s to come or what we may want to see but these fans will give you an honest assessment on how their seasons really went.
Firstly we take a look at the Belgian treble…
Ray Clenshaw @RayClenshaw – West Brom fan on Lukaku
“He’s obviously a technically gifted player but despite being such a big physical presence, he wasn’t really using his strength and size to his best advantage at first. He’s really developed that side of his game and looks far stronger physically now than when he first arrived.
He’s a really direct player, as soon as he gets the ball he’s on the attack. As his confidence has grown he’s been more likely to keep hold of the ball and take a shot but his awareness of the players around him has also improved and he’s just as capable of setting up goals as he is of scoring them.
It’s on his own up front that I think he’s most impressive though. He’s a committed, hard-working player who will run the channels all day long and he’s devastating playing off the shoulder of the last defender – but he can also win the ball, hold it up and bring others into the game.
I’ve no doubt he’s good enough to do well at Chelsea and when you look at the quality of the players there who could provide the ammunition for him, I reckon he’d get a bucket load of goals.”
Juan Luis Ventura G @osvaldiito- Atletico Madrid fan on Courtois
“Thibaut has left us with open mouths after some great reflex saves and in no time he will obviously be the best keeper in the world. Courtois has been key in many parts of the Atletico Madrid game, making saves of great merits that has got us so many points as it was even as much important as a goal from our forwards.
The shining performance of Courtois in the Bernabeu is a good way to show how good his reflex saves are. The stop he made from Ozil and Higuain were tremendous. Thanks to his great work, in the league he has been able to keep numerous clean sheets. It will be remembered for a long time between the Atletico fans, where much affection is given to him and we began to say that “he is one of ours”, although he really belongs to another club. Without a doubt it is a great beginning for a young keeper who is going to dazzle in Europe, and that, thanks to the destiny, we have returned to take place in the Champions League and to fight in La Liga’s podium. Thank you Thibaut.”
Lars Bache @larsbas – Werder Bremen fan on De Bruyne
“De Bruyne was without a doubt one of the best players, if not the best player of Werder Bremen in 2012/13, a season which has been one of the worst for the club in their Bundesliga history. First, some facts and figures: De Bruyne played 33 matches with just one sub appearance. He scored 10 goals and assisted 9. This means that he has been Bremen’s best scorer this year.
The last match of the season against Nürnberg showed why he was so important for us this year: Werder Bremen had just managed to stay in the Bundesliga, so this last game was of little importance to them as well as to Nürnberg. Plus, it was De Bruyne’s last match for Bremen. And still, he was our best player on the field, he scored both goals and he was running as if it the club was still trying to win the Championship. And that’s exactly how he played during the entire season: Always motivated and always thinking of scoring and trying to do the unthinkable. The only thing that you might want to criticize him for while he was playing for Bremen is that he often played too risky and therefore was often too ineffective.
He was one of the main reasons why we stayed in the Bundesliga. A player like him has to play internationally in order to grow and this is something he wouldn’t be able to do in Bremen. I can only recommend Chelsea not to sell him. At the most, lend him to a club for another year that plays Champions League. If Chelsea do sell him now I’m sure that in one or two years down the line they will regret it to have let him go.”
Yet more loan spells have been rumoured for the Belgian treble despite arguments that they are ready now. It is clear that the three would bolster the Chelsea squad in the short term but long-term; playing and improving would help Chelsea reap the rewards in the next couple of years. One thing is for sure is that if we do sell any of the three we will be selling a future world class footballer.