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Three Chelsea loanee stars who could break into Antonio Conte's first-team plans

Wednesday 21st June 2017
Chelsea Football Club enjoyed a simply sensational debut season under the loveable Antonio Conte. The Italian boss delivered a Premier League title, which the Blues will now look to build on. Part and parcel of football is trying to develop players from within your own ranks, and at Stamford Bridge, they have their fair share of outstanding young talents.

The sad thing is that Chelsea doesn't tend to give youngsters a real opportunity to prove their worth at the highest level - that has been the case in the past anyway. Perhaps under Conte, things are about to change. What's the point in having such fantastic youth facilities if these guys are going to rot in the reserves?

We've compiled a list of three stars that we think have earned their shot at a place in Chelsea's first-team. Trust me, we had a lot of players to choose from...

Tammy Abraham



Chelsea's goals output from their striker rested solely on Diego Costa last term. Let's be honest, Michy Batshuayi was pretty dreadful, and his manager must be thinking twice about keeping the Belgian on the books. This is where Tammy Abraham comes in. At just nineteen, he enjoyed a wonderful loan spell with Bristol City in the Championship last season, scoring 26 goals in 48 appearances across all competitions. There have been recent reports linking him with a potential loan move yet again, but why not give him a chance?

We all know that he isn't going to displace Costa from the starting line-up on a regular basis, but perhaps that backup job is up for grabs. If he can score goals with Championship calibre players around him, just think about what he could do when he has the likes of Eden Hazard feeding him the football.

Abraham is quick both with and without the ball, but what makes him so good is the off-ball runs that he makes. The forward can find those little pockets of space, and if his teammates can give him the ball in decent areas, more often than not he'll hit the target.

Chance at earning a first-team place:  4/10

Lewis Baker



At 22, Baker is the most senior player on this list. He has spent the last two years on loan at Chelsea's feeder club, Vitesse. He has amassed 73 competitive appearances out in the Eredivisie which is nothing to be sniffed at. He also has a handful of games in the English league, having played at both Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons respectively - before making the move to Vitesse.

Last season, he scored nine league goals from midfield which is a mightily impressive tally. The fact that he is comfortable playing the ball with either foot is a massive selling point, and his style of play would really suit being in a two-man midfield alongside the likes of N'Golo Kante or a Nemanja Matic.

Will he get that chance? If he stays at The Bridge, we may see him in the domestic cup competitions, but I'm just not sure Conte will put faith in him for the Premier League games.

Chance at earning a first-team place:  5/10

Andreas Christensen



Now 21, Andreas Christensen has been at Chelsea since 2012. The centre-back has spent the last couple of years out in Germany on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach - for whom he has been mightily impressive. The centre-back played an impressive 81 games during his stint with the Bundesliga side, and that can only stand him in good stead upon his return.

Chelsea have adopted a back three, meaning they need to be particularly deep at the centre-half position. They've already released John Terry, Gary Cahill his ageing and Conte doesn't seem sold on Kurt Zouma, so I definitely think that the Dane could get his chance this year.

Alright, he won't become a regular starter straight away, but he has all the attributes to play at the highest level. Not many centre-backs aged just 21 have the experience he has, and that should lead to a maturity beyond his years in such a key area of the field.

Chance at earning a first-team place: 6/10
Jordan Street

Jordan Street, 25-year old sports writer. Avid Manchester United fan and season ticket holder. Lover of the Premier League. Enjoys American sports. Tom Brady's biggest admirer, Kyrie Irving for MVP.


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