Two Chelsea youngsters were sent out on loan by the club on the last day of the transfer window, it has been confirmed.
22-year-old Brazilian Lucas Piazon will join Fulham until January, whilst Christian Atsu will join up with former Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez at Newcastle until the end of the season.
Piazon can play in a number of positions across the front line and is seen as a bright spark in the future of Brazilian football. He has gained caps for the national side at under-15, under-17, under-20 and under-23 level. This is not his first loan since signing for Chelsea. He has previously enjoyed stints at Malaga, Vitesse Arnhem and Eintracht Frankfurt. He spent the entirety of last season on loan at Championship side Reading, making 22 appearances and notching up five goals.
Atsu, meanwhile, was signed by José Mourinho from his former club Porto for £3.5 million in 2013. He has so far failed to make a single appearance for the Blues, however, and his loan move includes an option for the St. James’ Park club to buy him permanently when his loan spell comes to an end next summer.
The Ghanian international signed a five-year contract when he joined Chelsea in 2013, but he has spent every season on loan since then. He spent 2013-2014 at Vitesse Arnhem, making 28 appearances and scoring five goals. In 2014-2015 he moved to Goodison Park and made five appearances for Everton, before spending last season at Malaga where he made twelve appearances and scored twice.
The youngster was named Player of the Tournament at the African Cup of Nations in 2015 and expressed his delight at heading to St. James’ Park to play in the Championship under Benitez. He told the club’s official website, “I’m very happy to be at Newcastle. It’s a very big club. They have good facilities and I think Newcastle have one of the best coaches in the world. St. James’ Park is a fantastic stadium with 50,000 fans; the fans here really love football so much and I can’t wait to play at this stadium in front of the fans”.
Benitez himself added, “I agreed with our fans that we needed to bring in another winger, so I am very happy to welcome Christian to the club. He has good ability and pace in the wide areas and also has good experience of English football. He has a different style of play to the other players we have at the moment and that will be important for the squad”.
Atsu has become Rafa Benitez’s fifteenth signing since June as he aims to return the Magpies to the Premier League at the first time of asking.