Chelsea players have scored 60 goals this season; Chelsea's loaned-out players have scored 82
It is one of the game’s conundrums. Chelsea are struggling for goals yet are happy to send proven scorers out on loan.
Jose Mourinho has no fewer than 25 players out on loan, at clubs all around the world, and yet, while his recognised strikers are struggling to make their mark, those away from Stamford Bridge have already netted more than 80 goals this season.
On Wednesday night Chelsea had no fewer than 39 goal attempts – the most by any Premier League club over the last 10 years without scoring.
They failed to net for a fifth time this season in the league – matching the number of blanks they fired all last season – and the 0-0 draw with West Ham United cost them an opportunity to sit on the shoulders of new leaders Manchester City.
Yet while Fernando Torres recovers from injury, Samuel Eto’o labours for consistency and Demba Ba is regarded as not good enough, Chelsea players are scoring for fun – at other clubs.
Romelu Lukaku remains a player many Chelsea fans believe could answer their scoring problems. Last season he scored 17 goals for West Bromwich Albion and now he has added 11 for Everton.
Patrick Bamford is a 20-year-old Chelsea reserve who scored 17 times for MK Dons earlier this season before moving to Derby. His response? Three goals in four games.
But it is not just in Britain that Chelsea’s unwanted are thriving. They have an agreement with Vitesse Arnhem and, at present, no fewer than five Chelsea players are at the Eredivisie club and their leading scorer, with 11 goals, is a Stamford Bridge youngster.
Lucas Piazon, a 20-year-old Brazilian, cost Chelsea around £10 million and is under contract until 2017, and quickly proving that he has a future at Stamford Bridge.
And in Belgium, another Blue is thriving. While Eden Hazard is one of Chelsea’s better players, his younger brother, Thorgan, is the leading scorer at Belgian club Zulte Waregem. The 20-year-old has 11 goals and regularly delivering reminders of his talents to Mourinho.
All of which offers hope for the future, but, for now, does little to answer Chelsea’s goalscoring troubles.
Chelsea’s loaned out players
Christian Atsu (Vitesse) 2 goals
Patrick Bamford (MK Dons/Derby) 20
Ryan Bertrand (Aston Villa) 0
Nathaniel Chalobah (Nottm Fst/Middlesbrough) 2
Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid) 0
Cristian Cuevas (Vitesse) 0
Ulises Davila (Cordoba) 4
Matej Delac (Vojvodina/FC Sarajevo) 0
Thorgan Hazard (Zulte Waragem) 11
Todd Kane (Middlesbrough) 1
Milan Lalkovic (Walsall) 5
Romelu Lukaku (Everton) 11
Marko Marin (Sevilla) 0
Josh McEachran (Watford/Wigan) 0
Victor Moses (Liverpool) 2
Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough) 0
Stipe Perica (NAC Breda) 4
Lucas Piazon (Vitesse) 11
Jhon Pirez (CD Leganes) 2
Joao Rodriguez (Uniautonoma) 0
Oriel Romeu (Valencia) 0
George Saville (Brentford) 3
Bertrand Traore (Vitesse) 0
Patrick van Aanholt (Vitesse) 4
Wallace (Inter Milan) 0
Total goals: 82
Eden Hazard 10
Samuel Eto'o 8
Fernando Torres 7
Frank Lampard 6
Demba Ba 3
Andre Schürrle 3
John Obi Mikel 2
John Terry 2
César Azpilicueta 1
Gary Cahill 1
Branislav Ivanovic 1
Juan Mata 1
Total goals: 60