Among the 40-odd players loaned out by Chelsea this season, Charly Musonda Jr. probably had the worst campaign of all.
The Belgian forward was sent to Vitesse in Holland back in August to get some time under his belt, yet a knee injury has plagued him all season, limiting him to one appearance on the bench back in mid January against Excelsior.
It was decided last week the 22-year-old would be prematurely returning to Chelsea after playing zero minutes, and the mood in Belgium is a bit grim regarding this news.
Once seen as one of the more exciting talents in their country, Musonda Jr.’s development at Chelsea via loans hasn’t gone to plan, and Sport/Foot asked people who know the youngster about his situation.
Jean-Francois Remy, Belgium U21’s assistant manager, said: “How sad. It’s another hard blow. Barring a miracle at Chelsea, a new loan seems to be the best option. It’s time for Charly to confirm what he showed in the past.
“From what I’ve seen, he’s got huge potential, worthy of the elite, but confirmation of his ability is taking too long.”
He explained: “He’s been hugely unlucky, but I’m convinced he can still succeed. Charly knows what he wants. He’s very mature. He’s had his low moments. I’m impatiently awaiting the times when he’ll seduce people again with his actions.
“I think he needs to follow Dries Mertens’ example. He also reached the age of bursting onto the scene. He was 22 when he broke out at Utrecht, confirmed his ability at PSV and earned his dream move to Napoli. Hope keeps you going, for Charly like the others. I keep thinking he can stand out in one of the big European leagues.”
Since joining Chelsea from the Belgian side back in 2012, the forward has only made seven appearances in all competitions for the Blues, scoring one goal and picking up two assists.
He is still contracted to Stamford Bridge until 2022, meaning there is still time for him to make it, but considering how long it has taken for Callum Hudson-Odoi to convince Maurizio Sarri, Charly Musonda Jr. has a lot of work ahead of him.