Chelsea recall Patrick Bamford and Christian Atsu to end loan spells early
Patrick Bamford and Christian Atsu are back at Chelsea after the Premier League champions confirmed that the duo's season-long loan spells with Crystal Palace and Bournemouth respectively were terminated early.
Bamford told reporters in December that he would be cutting short a "terrible" five-month spell at Selhurst Park, which had seen him make just nine Palace appearances in all competitions and fail to start a single Premier League game.
Palace boss Alan Pardew insists 22-year-old Bamford, who excelled on loan at Middlesbrough last season, was given "every chance" to make an impact at Selhurst Park, and "needs to harden as a professional."
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Atsu, meanwhile, struggled to break into Bournemouth's starting XI before sustaining a stress fracture to his back in October, and earlier this week sources had told ESPN FC that Chelsea were set to recall the 23-year-old Ghanaian winger in January due to concerns over his lack of playing time.
It is not yet clear whether Bamford and Atsu will join other clubs on loan until the end of the season, or be added to Guus Hiddink's first-team squad.
Last week ESPN FC revealed that 19 of Chelsea's 32 loanees played less than half of the available minutes at their loan clubs up until December, spending more time off the pitch than on it in the first half of the season.
Academy graduates Alex Davey and Jordan Houghton have also returned to Stamford Bridge after falling out of favour on loan at Peterborough and Gillingham respectively, though midfielder John Swift has extended his initial one-month loan at Brentford until the end of their Championship campaign.
Mexican midfielder Ulises Davila has officially left Chelsea to sign for Santos Laguna on a permanent basis, while Brazilian full-back Wallace is widely expected to join Gremio on an 18-month loan deal on Wednesday after spending the first half of this season on the fringes at newly-promoted Serie club Carpi.