While there has been a tonal shift at Chelsea this year, in which players have been given their chance rather than shipped out, there are still plenty out on loan from the club.
One such player is Mario Pašalić, a 24-year-old midfielder who is spending the season on loan with Atalanta in Serie A.
Pašalić joined Chelsea back in 2014 but has never really settled at the club, instead spending the last five years out on loan at various clubs.
His latest spell is proving to be his most successful so far, with him playing a pivotal role in Atalanta’s season so far.
He was recently one of the star performers in the draw with Manchester City in the Champions League, and that performance has got Atalanta seriously thinking about a permanent move.
According to Calciomercato, his display against the Premier League champions was ‘the culmination of a crescendo’ that started when he arrived at the Italian club a year ago.
Manager Gian Piero Gasperini put the Croatian midfielder ‘at the centre of his project’ and Pašalić is paying him back for it.
His performances have not gone unnoticed and Atalanta signing him from Chelsea permanently at the end of the season ‘now more than probable’.
They have an option to turn his loan into a permanent switch for €15m and the Atalanta leadership are mulling the whole thing over as they can’t decide whether to pay that and keep him or sell him on after for a ‘super-capital gain’.
Either way, it appears Pašalić will be a man in demand come the end of the year and Chelsea could make a tidy profit on a player who has never made an appearance for them.