13 Premier League loanees who could make spectacular first-team returns in 2017/18
Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)
Chelsea haven’t struggled for goals this season, but the relationship between primary scorer Diego Costa and manager Antonio Conte seems combustible. With Michy Batshuayi failing to make an impact on the first team in his maiden campaign, the highly rated Abraham may soon find himself in a position of greater responsibility.
The 19-year-old striker has scored 22 times in the Championship while on loan at Bristol City this season, and his strength and directness would suit Conte’s tactics.
Kyle Bartley (Swansea)
Leeds’ major strength this season has been solid defending. Garry Monk’s side are cohesive without the ball, hence why they have the best goals conceded record in the Championship outside of the top two, Brighton and Newcastle.
Bartley has been at the centre of this, leading from the back with commanding performances. Swansea have the worst defensive record in the Premier League at present, making their decision to loan out Bartley seem more bizarre by the week. If the Swans don’t cash in on him, the 25-year-old could form a strong partnership with Alfie Mawson upon his return in 2017/18.
Steven Berghuis (Watford)
Watford are set for a comfortable mid-table finish, but the fact that only four Premier League teams have scored fewer goals than the Hornets suggests a need for additional firepower. To that end, Watford could consider giving more chances to Berghuis next season.
The 25-year-old Netherlands international has scored eight goals and set up another five while on loan at Eredivisie leaders Feyenoord, and his incisive inward runs and accurate left foot could combine nicely with Troy Deeney’s hold-up play.
Calum Chambers (Arsenal)
If/when Middlesbrough do eventually suffer relegation and return to the Championship after just one season back in the top tier, it won't be for a lack of defensive organisation. With just 39 goals conceded, they possess a record that wouldn't look out of place in the top six. In fact, they have conceded fewer league goals than Chambers’ parent club Arsenal.
The 22-year-old defender has played an important part in Boro’s solidity and, as a result, he could soon be challenging Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi for a place in his parent club’s starting line-up.
Sam Gallagher (Southampton)
Physically imposing and a genuine aerial threat, Gallagher may not have the refinement often seen in Southampton’s game, but the 21-year-old could nonetheless be utilised as an alternative outlet alongside Manolo Gabbiadini, or an effective Plan B from the substitutes’ bench.
The striker has scored 10 goals while on loan at Blackburn this season, and his assertive style could work well against weaker Premier League defences.