Cape Town - Former Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo has used defender Andreas Christensen as an example to justify the club's extensive loan system.
The Blues are known for the multitude of expensively-assembled youth players that spend their time out on loan at various club’s across Europe, but this approach has yielded few results.
The 21-year-old Danish centre-back put in a decent showing in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Manchester United, and Emenalo, who stepped down from his post after almost 10 years at the club, on Monday, thinks he is a prime example of a loanee come good.
"Andreas, unbeknown to him, gave me a wonderful parting gift yesterday because his performance is indicative of what development is all about," said Emenalo.
"Development equals humility, hard work and timing and Andreas has done all three. He's shown great humility to go on loan and work very hard while he was there and gain the experience which is needed.
"The timing is right for him now to step in and show what he's learnt during those periods of development."
Christensen impressed during two seasons on loan at German side Borussia Mönchengladbach, and has since returned to Stamford Bridge to feature seven time in the Premier League this season.
Of Chelsea’s numerous loanees, very few have come back to feature regularly in the first team, with Victor Moses the best recent example, having gone out on loan to Liverpool, Stoke City, and West Ham before becoming a regular under Antonio Conte.
The current batch of on-loan hopefuls includes Tomas Kalas (Fulham), Matt Miazga (Vitesse), Kurt Zouma (Stoke City), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace), Lucas Piazon (Fulham), Marco van Ginkel (PSV), Tammy Abraham (Swansea City), and Izzy Brown (Brighton & Hove Albion).