Chelsea and England under-20 starlet Jake Clarke-Salter could be set for a loan move to Championship outfit Nottingham Forest in the new year, according to reports.
Antonio Conte is said to be keen for the 20-year-old to pick up game time before the end of the season, as his solitary appearance for the Blues’ senior side this term came in a Carabao Cup tie against the East Midlands side back in September.
Clarke-Salter impressed despite an injury-ravaged season on loan at Bristol Rovers last season, with his performances in the latter stages of the 2016/2017 campaign earning him a call-up to the England under-20s World Cup squad. Despite conceding a penalty in the final of the competition against Venezuela (which was eventually saved), the Londoner helped England record their first major international tournament victory since 1966.
Indeed, Clarke-Salter’s impressive showings last term and during the summer earned him a new four-year deal with Chelsea at the start of the current campaign. Such was the confidence Conte had in the youngster, that the Blues rejected the advances of sides such as Norwich to take him on loan for the full duration of the season. Ultimately, Chelsea’s squad has proven to be a little deeper than many feared, with the likes of fellow academy product Andreas Christensen being irreplaceable in the backline, limiting Clarke-Salter’s opportunities.
Still, the future still seems to be bright for the 20-year-old, especially if Forest do end up bringing him to the City Ground in the January transfer window and provide him with the match experience he desperately needs. The Blues very much see Clarke-Salter as part of their long-term plans, with legendary former skipper John Terry praising the star prior to his departure from the club last term.
“Jake has a great attitude,” Terry said after playing alongside Clarke-Salter back in May 2016. “I remember watching him a couple of years ago being in control of the game and a really vocal player. He reminds me a bit of myself.”
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