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July 2021

Arsenal have two players out on loan opposed to Chelsea’s 13. Why the different approach?

by Tony Attwood

Arsenal now have two players out on loan with Marc Bola having gone to Bristol Rovers following the announcement of Takuma Asano’s continuation at Stuttgart.

In terms of number of loans out Chelsea are in a league of their own.  They already have 13 players out on loan already, and may beat last year’s total of 36.  Everton, Newcastle and Swansea are in second position with five.  The clubs not very active as yet in the loan market are…

Crystal Palace and Liverpool with no loans while Tottenham, Watford, West Brom and West Ham have one year.

What I wonder is what Chelsea get out of their tactic.  Last season they ended the summer transfer window with 36 loans in place, and by the end of the January window it was slightly higher.  And one might say, well they won the league so it must be the right thing to do.  But in what way?  How are these loans benefiting Chelsea?

Last year their loans were as below.   The first number is the player’s age.  I’ve added notes after for some of these players where they have been loaned to PL teams or major foreign clubs, or are interesting for other reasons.

In relation to Vitesse, whose name appears several times in what follows, there have been many allegations that Chelsea have an involvement in the club and Untold has written about this.   But this has been strongly denied as does the fact that Chelsea exercises any managerial control.   The relationship however is particularly close.

  • Nathan Aké, age 21 (Bournemouth) – now sold to Bournemouth
  • Patrick Bamford, 22 (Burnley) – played six games with Burnley now sold to Middlesbrough
  • Kenedy, 20 (Watford) – played one game with Watford last season
  • Loïc Rémy, 29 (Crystal Palace) played 5 times for Palace last season
  • Tammy Abraham, 18 (Bristol City)
  • Christian Atsu, 24 (Newcastle United)
  • Isaiah Brown, 19 (Rotherham United)
  • Tomas Kalas, 23 (Fulham)
  • Kasey Palmer, 19 (Huddersfield Town)
  • Lucas Piazon, 22 (Fulham, until January)
  • Jake Clarke-Salter, 18 (Bristol Rovers)
  • Charlie Colkett, 19 (Bristol Rovers)
  • Mitchell Beeney, 20 (Crawley Town, until January)
  • Jamal Blackman, 22 (Wycombe Wanderers, until January)
  • Alex Davey, 21 (Crawley Town, until January)
  • Jordan Houghton, 20 (Doncaster Rovers, until January)
  • Alex Kiwomya, 20 (Crewe Alexandra, until January)
  • Nathan Baxter, 17 (Metropolitan Police, until January)
  • Dion Conroy, 20 (Aldershot, until January)
  • Cristián Cuevas, 21 (Sint-Truidense)
  • Matej Delac, 24 (Royal Excel Mouscron)
  • Islam Feruz, 20 (Royal Excel Mouscron)
  • Wallace, 22 (Grêmio, Brazil)
  • Jhoao Rodríguez, 20 (Independiente Sante Fe) – 8th season on loan making 30 appearances for 8 clubs.
  • Baba Rahman, 22 (Schalke)  Made 13 appearances for Schalke last season
  • Andreas Christensen, 20 (Borussia Mönchengladbach, played 61 times for them in the last two season)
  • Michael Hector, 24 (Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany).  He had 11 loan spells from Reading before being sold to Chelsea and then loaned back to Reading.  Played 21 times for Frankfurt last season.
  • Juan Cuadrado, 28 (Juventus, three-year loan)
  • Mario Pasalic, 21 (Milan)   Played 24 times for Milan last season
  • Lewis Baker, 21 (Vitesse Arnhem).  Played 64 times for Vitesse over last two seasons.
  • Matt Miazga, 21 (Vitesse Arnhem).  Played 23 times for Vitesse last season.
  • Nathan, 20 (Vitesse Arnhem).  Played 45 times for Vitesse.
  • Danilo Pantic, 19 (Excelsior).  According to other sources Excelsior was last season (9).  This time around it is Partizan
  • Bertrand Traoré, 20 (Ajax).  After loans with Vitesse and Ajax  he is now with Lyon
  • Bekanty Victorien Angban, 19 (Granada).  Played 10 times for Granada on loan last year.
  • Jeremie Boga, 19 (Granada).  Played 26 times for Granada last year
  • Charly Musonda, 19 (Real Betis).  Played 24 times for Betis last year
  • Kenneth Omeruo, 22 (Alanyaspor).  Played 26 times for Alanyaspor  last year.

So at a quick review it seems that the players can and do get experience in foreign parts, but that rarely seems to benefit Chelsea.   So why are they still following this model?

Anyway, here is the list of players so far going out on loan.  Data from the Guardian.

From Total To Player
Arsenal 2 Stuttgart Asano
Bristol Rovers Bola
Bournemouth 2 Weymouth Travers
Allsop Blackpool
Brighton 2 Lincoln McGuire-Drew
Wigan Walton
Burnley 3 Lincoln Ginnely
Wrexham Massanka
Southport Jackson
Chelsea 13 Vitesse Arnham Dabo
Swansea Abraham
Huddersfield Palmer
Groningen Kane
Vitesse Colkett
Forest Green Rovers Collins
Hull City  Aina
Crystal Palace Loftus Cheek
Fulham Lucas Piazon
PSV Eindhoven Marco van Ginkel
Barnsley Ike Ugbo
Stoke City Kurt Zouma
Charlton Jay Dasilva
Crystal Palace 0
Everton 5 Anderlecht Onyekuru
Sunderland Galloway
Wolfsberg Donker
Sunderland Browning
Barnsley Joe Williams
Huddersfield 4 Fleetwood Hiwula
Gateshead Horsfall
Portsmouth Tareiq Holmes-Dennis
Port Vale Rekeil Pyke
Leicester City 2 Stuggart Ron-Robert Zieler
Freiburg Bartosz Kapustka
Liverpool 0
Manchester City 3 Breda Angelino
Norwich Gunn
Ipswich Celina
Manchester Utd 3 Northampton Poole
Shrewsbury Henderson
Aston Villa Johnson
Newcastle 5 Anderlecht Sels
Bradford City Gilliead
Bury Heardman
Bolton Armstrong
Blackpool Longstaff
Southampton 4 Norwich Reed
Yeovil Olomola
Dundee Lewis
MK Dons Seager
Swansea City 5 Shrewsbury James
Malaga Baston
Real Betis Amat
Middlesbrough Roberts
Yeovil Davis
Stoke City 0
Tottenham 1 Gillingham Ogilvie
Watford 1 Crawley Lewis
West Brom 1 Werder Breman Zhang
West Ham 1 Oxford Borussia Mönchengladbach

We’ll come back to this occasionally as the transfer window continues.

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31 comments to Arsenal have two players out on loan opposed to Chelsea’s 13. Why the different approach?

  • NeathBlue

    Chelsea have just received £7 million from Stoke for a one year loan deal for Zouma, the club makes a fortune from loan deals… Money spent developing youth players is subtracted when they take into account for FFP, money gained from loan deals counts as revenue… It might not be ethical, but it’s a great business plan.

  • Chris

    Short of financial figures, one can’t say it is being done for profit.
    As Bayern Munich have a reputation for hoarding in Germany (alas hoarding 1st team players), maybe Chelsea do the same.
    Any good youngster not playing in the PL is a good player they don’t have to face and it makes youngsters rarer and more expensive for the competition – that is if they have a good scouting network and recrute mostly players of top quality.

    Then it may well be a combination of both.

    Considering how little time youngsters have in the PL (no time for experimenting when you are expected to win the PL every season), I’m inclined to think they ‘outsource’ grooming youngsters to other clubs. If one of them is the next Kante they’ll profit in the PL, otherwise they probably make some financial profit from the operation.

  • Stuart

    Obvious isn’t it, it’s putting them in the shop window to then sell on and help with FFP… Ake is the perfect example, £20m because he showed himself to be a competent PL player.

    Arsenal missing a trick here, instead keep the players for too long and don’t ever seem to make the money on fringe players.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    While we may not definitely know the actual reason why Chelsea have decided to be buying so many youngsters who they don’t need to employed them for action immediately, but only later to resort to loan them out enemas, may not be unconnected with the widely believed notion that Chelsea does this buying of these young players who have the initial primary potentials in them so as to deny other Premier League clubs like that of our own Arsenal FC gaining access to any of these youngsters with the primary looking potential in him to buy him too. Thereby denying Arsenal the opportunity to buy any of these youngsters to develop him in their academic schools to a player who has become full in andvance potential later and start using him.

    But the FA are watching this dirty loan out market tricks being employed by Chelsea season after season to subvert other PL clubs chance. And they have not taken any administrative action to put the Chelsea mass seasonal loan out excesses into check. Why? I think as from next season, I will suggesr the FA should enact a rule to limit the number of youngsters in the rank and file of any Premier League club is allowed to loan out to 20 youngsters per season only. So as to curtail the abuse of this loan out market system as seasonally being abused by Chelsea.

  • para

    Another modern form of slavery really. Players bought and sold a few years later if the value has improved, let loose if not.

  • Menace

    The rules governing loans need to be changed to be fairer to all clubs.
    The number of players owned by a club should be capped. Otherwise clubs could become like cattle markets for football players with wealth removing volumes of availability from the poorer teams.

    Loanees in the same league (division) must be counted in the 25. The loanees play against all opponents apart from owner club.

    The sale price of players loaned out must have a portion for the clubs that loan(ed) them. It ensures that clubs that improve a player get a fair reward.

  • Andy Mack

    Everything’s rather quiet about Campbell, so I guess he’ll be out on loan again (or sold?).

  • Betiku Adeniyi

    You don’t have a clue. Chelsea buy this youngsters for two major reasons;
    1) To see if they can be developed and then eventually useful to the club in future, this is economical.
    2) Those that are not able to breakthrough would be sold ultimately for profits.

    In addition, the loan system ensures Chelsea Fc does not pay the salaries of this huge amount of players thereby shifting that to the clubs who take them on loan.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Andy, he got an knee injury playing for his country that rules him out till december

  • Jammy J

    Sorry OT – So apparently Sanchez now wants £500,000 a week. It’s gone from £300,000 to £400,000 and now to £500,000. How the hell are people believing this utter shyte? What planet do they live on?!

  • timo

    we need to know why Chelsea run an academy. they are not breaking any rules so far.

  • I am not sure it is I who doesn’t have a clue Betiku. The question I am asking is why go to all this time and trouble when the number of players through this season who break in the Chelsea team is so small. There are simpler systems that other clubs are using to seemingly greater effect.

  • NeathBlue – I take your point, but in writing the article I tried, as far as I could to trace the money in and out and I am not convinced of your argument about finances.

    In the Zouma case the £7m is being reported in the reviews I have seen as the salary Stoke are paying the player – not money that goes to Chelsea: £12,000 a week plus National Insurance and pension fund money. I could be wrong but tracking all the data I can find I really can’t see where this makes money for Chelsea.

  • eric

    I remember some years ago you writing an article praising arsenal for having lots of youngsters on loan. Believing these players were the future of the club. Players like JET, gnabry, jay Simpson, francis coquelin,Wellington Silva, etc. Now you’re probably changing tunes because not only has Chelsea overtaken you, but that generation of arsenal loanees have totally failed to develop into the mighty army you prophesied

  • eric

    Don’t u think u should be more concerned about how your team will finally compete for the major trophies?

  • a.c.

    7£ million for Zuma? And for a season long loan?
    Believe this,you will believe anything.

  • donne

    if chelsea were to sell a courtois now who got better on loan at athletico they would recoup all the money spent on theses players theyve loaned out. chelsea either get a courtois moses christensen to get better playing at top level or they make profit on lukaku debrune ake chalobah after loans having not spent much on wages during tjese loan years. ffp friendly but not necesarily ethical

  • Eric – I wonder if you have ever thought that before making a comment that could make you look a little silly, you might actually look at either the title of the blog you are commenting within, or (or preferably and) look and see if the comment you are about to make has actually been made – and answered – many times before. It almost suggests you just saw the article, and wrote two lines… without anything else.

  • You see Eric the problem is that you are being vague. “Lots” is not the same as a real number. The players you mention are spread across a number of seasons, whereas last season Chelsea had well over 30 on loan in that season alone. To do the comparison you need to look at two or three seasons and compare the number of players in each season on loan for the two clubs. Now as it happens I’ve done that because as regular readers will know, Untold is all about statistics. And the number of players on loan at any time from Arsenal has for several years been a tiny fraction of the number on loan at the same time from Chelsea.

  • MikeT

    So many incorrect assumptions posted on here and the failure to see the bigger picture is quite amazing
    Beitu . Whilst clubs pay often pay a fee to loan a player the club that takes the player on loan does not pay the wages all players contracted long term remain on the home clubs pay roll. That’s key. The fee may well be the costs incurred but any fee for services will be invoiced and VAT is payable if appropriate.
    Why that is key is that Chelseas overall wage bill will include all the players on loan by virtue of this the allowable wage growth is based on that figure.Also the fees received appear in the player trading account.
    Tony in the case of Zouma Stoke are paying a sum that not only will cover his wages but a loaning fee which although in the case of Zouma I haven’t seen detailed ,often it is the case iit is at least equal to the annual amortised element of the original transfer fee.
    I am under no illusions as to a major reason Chelsea have so many players out on loan and that is to deal with FFP indeed many of the players being sold this year will show a significant accounting profit due to the way in which fees are in effect written off.
    There are several exapmples but let’s look at Christian Atsu.
    Atsu cost Chelsea £3.5 million in 2013 and signed on a 5 year deal. He has just been sold to Newcastle for £6.2 million. In cash terms a profit of £2.7 million but 4 years in to his origami deal his book value was down to £700k so the accounting profit is £5.5 million.
    Another major reason as to why so many of Chelseas academy are out on loan is quite simply it exposes them to what some would call true football where they are up against seasoned professionals in a competive league.
    I too agree there should be greater restrictions in terms of how many and to which clubs a player can go on loan but as I said on many occasions if the clubs wanted change then they could bring it about. Ironically the last change regarding loan players at PL clubs was when the club kicked out the old rule that forbid PL clubs from taking players in on loan

  • Scuba

    Para, if it was slavery, the players wouldn’t be paid. With Chelsea, these youngsters are getting much better wages than they’d likely receive elsewhere. Is it really hurting the players to get a better paycheck and continued moves to clubs at an appropriate level? Probably not, and it’s something Arsenal should probably be doing.

  • MikeT


    £7 million is easily believable

    A wage of £80 k a week equates to just £5 million.
    Class 1 employers rate is 13.8%. .That’s another £700k
    I think the pension contributions are around 10% that’s another £500k and based on his original transfer fee of £12 million on a 5 1/2 year deal his amortised cost, if Stoke are paying that would be another £2 million
    So assuming his wage is £80 k a week it’s easy to see how the figures stack up.

  • NeathBlue

    It makes money because the money invested by clubs through their youth system doesn’t count towards FFP.
    Zouma isn’t on £7 million a year wages with Chelsea, probably closer to half that.
    Tammy Abraham is costing Swansea £4 – £5 million depending on which report is accurate.
    Not all the loan players will bring in big fees, but when you’re loaning out 30-40 players, it all adds up.
    And if you get a Nathan Ake every few seasons, you’re making even more… He’d been loaned out 4 or 5 times already, so they’ve done well there.
    Andreas Christensen could be the next, they’ve already turned down quite high bids for him.

  • MikeT


    Not sure that paying wages in itself is the issue and ironically any player that doesn’t feature, when fit in 10% of their clubs first team games can walk at seasons end for free.

    I have heard it argued that denying a footballer the normal employee right to end their employment at any time is more of an issue.

  • paul35mm

    Chelsea’s loan system benefits them in two ways. First and foremost they deprive midtable and lower table Premier League teams young players who could make an impact. Nathan Ake is a prime example. Last season Ake was doing really well with Bournemouth and they were well up in the table. Chelsea ended the loan and Bournemouth slid. There werre other factors, including Jack Wilshire’s injury, but Ake was clearly good enough to help a top-flight club.

    The other obvious reason is a way of defraying the cost of their purchases. For example, Chelsea bought a player, Mohamed Salah. They decided he wasn’t good enough, so they loaned him out. When you are a top team, most players won’t be good enough but you never know until you bring them in and work with them for a while. The loan system allows for protracted ‘trials’ with limited financial cost.

    It seems unlikely that Chelsea profit from buying so many young players then loaning them out. Zouma commands a high loan fee, but it will be a one season loan and he’ll either move or stay based on how he does and if his fitness returns. It seems far more likely that the reasons are defensive, as another poster suggested the tactic makes good young players rarer and more expensive for opponents and at the same time denies lesser teams players who could help them right now; and as a means of defraying the cost of finding players that can help their first team.

    Clearly their youth player acquisition and academy are not designed to contribute to their first team. Chelsea do not have a significant first team contributor from their academy or from their loan factory. The surest way to never play for Chelsea’s first team is to join their academy or to go on loan from the club.

  • insideright

    FFP allows owners (e.g. Abramovich) to fund ‘youth development’ in all its manifestations. So such players brought in but never put into the first team squad will not appear in the salary bill which counts against FFP. Revenue gained from them does however count as ‘allowable’ and can therefore be used for first team squad purposes. Not rocket science accounting but not necessarily great long term image marketing.
    It could also fall foul of future changes in regulation and is therefore dangerous to rely on.
    Why don’t Arsenal do more of it? Apart from the fact that it might not prove sustainable if the rules change it also requires the owner to sneak money in via the back door and that totally undermines the Clubs position on the FFP moral high ground and it’s therefore short-termist on both counts. Not part of the Arsenal way of doing things and not part of the much trumpeted ‘values’.

  • MikeT


    If as you suggest it’s against Arsenal values the surely they shouldn’t do it at all as opposed to not doing it more?

    I know so many thought that FFP would right all the percived wrongs but FFP may well close down certain ways of generating income but there were and still remain so many holes in the rules that the real top administrators probably view it as a nuisance as opposed to it being a game changer

  • eric

    Its disingenuous to expect me to recall exact figures from an article you wrote over 2years ago. However I suspect the figure was 17 out on loan, and you were full of praise for the large number of future stars. This is a turn around you deny just like similar denials on your part in the past such as your denial that this site used to loudly proclaim disproportionate injury issues as the cause of arsenals inability to win the league as well as the denial by the site of the authenticity of RVPs letter to the fans

  • Menace

    Mike T – that’s exactly the view of the PGMOL & criticism. It is also the view of FIFA & UEFA. All this examination is only a nuisance but not a game changer.

    It is probably May’s view of her critics -a nuisance but not a game changer 😉 .

  • Eric – not disingenuous at all. I did the work and know the answer. You want to tell me my answer is wrong, fine – but then you provide some evidence. By the way I have seen a number of posts from you today, but you have breaking some of the basic rules of commenting on this site as laid out on the comments page so there is no way they are going to be published. We have published about a quarter of a million comments, over the years but those which call the writers names or claim we are wrong without evidence don’t get published, not least because there is a multiplicity of sites where, if you really feel it is important to say such things, you can. I think best to say farewell not least because dealing with you is taking up my time which I could be spending more productively.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Its very clear with Chelseas way of business is they are not willing to invest on “TIME”. And in youth development, time is the single most biggest investment you can commit to. It took ARSENAL 10-15 years to make Iwobi.

    And its clear from Chelseas acts, they too bet big on financial fair play. So they mopped up promising young players before they became a big name. And since you cannot give every one of them game time, loan them out.