Premier League • England

Chelsea rule out loan exit for talented attacker but Pochettino to make different call on Brazilian

Armando Broja, Noni Madueke, Chelsea, October 2023

Armando Broja in conversation alongside Noni Madueke ahead of Chelsea match

Chelsea have reportedly made a decision on what to do with talented winger Noni Madueke in the January transfer window, although another Blues star could be on the move.

Madueke has struggled for game time since moving to Stamford Bridge last winter, fueling speculation that he could be offloaded on a temporary basis just a year on, or even sold to make way for a new addition to the Chelsea squad.

However, The Athletic’s David Ornstein reports that there is no desire within the club to loan out Madueke or any other established first-team squad member for that matter.

Indeed, Ornstein adds that temporary exits will only happen for emerging talents in need of gaining some valuable senior experience.

Madueke has made only eight appearances for Chelsea across the Premier League and Carabao Cup this season started just twice, once in each competition.

However, the England Under-21 international has struggled with several minor fitness problems, issues that have forced him to miss the club’s last three outings.

Madueke could, though, return to action in Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against Newcastle United after it was confirmed by the club that he is now back in full training.

The 21-year-old attracted headlines for all the wrong reasons back in September when a video of him partying surfaced while he was still on the sidelines recovering from injury.

Mauricio Pochettino chose to deal with the matter by leaving the attacker out of the squad to face Brighton in the Carabao Cup, saying at the time: “It is clear. This video, we were talking about that with him. I think it is a thing that we need to avoid. All the players need to know that when we are a player of Chelsea to try to avoid these things. It wasn’t a big issue but we always need to avoid these types of situations.

“I think it is really clear that he needs to avoid it. But he is recovering from the national team and we will see if he is fit and can be involved and selected.

“But we talk about what you are asking me because it is a thing that the young players need to improve on. Not only him. Many, many players need to be professional and to have respect because of the badge we have here.”

Madueke was previously at PSV before heading to west London in January 2023 and featured 12 times under Graham Putter and then Frank Lampard. Indeed, he played four of the last five Premier League matches last season but has found life under Pochettino much tougher.

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Santos poised for another loan move

Meanwhile, Ornstein adds that one player who could be on the move is again is Brazilian midfielder Andrey Santos.

The Athletic reported last month that Chelsea are ready to recall the 19-year-old from his loan spell at Nottingham Forest, where he has featured just twice.

French club Strasbourg are said to be among the clubs looking to take the player on loan in the second half of the campaign.

However, the Blues already have seven players out on international loans, which is the maximum allowed for Premier League clubs and means someone will have be recalled for Santos to move to France.

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