Monday 21 May 2018

Brendan Rodgers' chances of Chelsea return dashed by club's anger over playing-time of young loan stars

Musonda was sent to Celtic on an 18-month loan until the end of next season but could well cut his stay in Scotland short after starting just two league games. Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
Musonda was sent to Celtic on an 18-month loan until the end of next season but could well cut his stay in Scotland short after starting just two league games. Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Matt Law

Chelsea are growing angry with Brendan Rodgers over a third loan that is turning sour under the club's former reserve team manager and has put a black mark against any feint hopes he may harbour of succeeding Antonio Conte.

Rodgers won his second Scottish Premiership title with Celtic at the weekend but his handling of Charly Musonda, who was not even in the match-day squad for the 5-0 thrashing of Rangers, has not gone down well at Stamford Bridge.

Musonda was sent to Celtic on an 18-month loan until the end of next season but could well cut his stay in Scotland short after starting just two league games. The 21-year-old has not started a game since February 18.

Rodgers had assured Chelsea and Musonda that the talented Belgian would get plenty of chances to gain first-team experience at Celtic. He made similar promises over Josh McEachran, when he was Swansea City manager, and Victor Moses, when in charge of Liverpool.

Opinion

McEachran started only one Premier League game under Rodgers for Swansea and, asked what he learned in Wales, the midfielder said: "Nothing." Questioned on his opinion of Rodgers, he added: "I'll pass on that."

Moses started only six Premier League games during his season at Liverpool despite Rodgers convincing the then winger that he could make a similar impact on his career as he made with Daniel Sturridge.

While McEachran never fully recovered from his spell at Swansea, Moses has since proved his talent by becoming Chelsea's first-choice right wing-back under Conte. Their experiences over McEachran and Moses meant Chelsea decided against sending other players, such as Ryan Bertrand, to play on loan under Rodgers but that stance softened when Musonda expressed an interest.

So far, however, Chelsea's worst fears have been realised again and Musonda's inactivity is making it even more unlikely that Rodgers will be seriously discussed as a candidate to replace Conte. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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