Five Chelsea players for whom the World Cup could spell a January exit

Kevin De Bruyne, Cesar Azpilicueta, Michael Essien, Kenneth Omeruo and Bertrand Traore could all leave this winter.

With the World Cup coming up next summer, plenty of players in the Premier League want first-team football to ensure they are on the pane to Brazil.

So which Arsenal players could leave permanently or temporarily this January?

Kevin De Bruyne

The Belgian came back to Chelsea this season from a loan spell at Werder Bremen in high spirits and it started well, with a first team start on the opening day.

The Belgian national team is one of the hardest to get into in the world right now, and first-team football is now a necessity.

With the Belgian side holding high hopes of lifting the trophy - a loan move back to Germany might be essential to bring him the chance to play for this star studded team.

Cesar Azpilicueta

The Spaniard came on leaps and bounds under Rafa Benitez last term, but he is not a regular for Jose Mourinho.

With a place in the Spanish team almost only ever guaranteed if you are playing regular football, a loan spell has been mooted.

Kenneth Omeruo

The Nigerian was on top form last year for ADO Den Haag and the Nigerian national team.

He refused a loan move out this term, because he felt he had a chance of first-team football. However, a shoulder injury and apparent work permit issues have got in the way.

He is a very talented boy, but lost his place in the recent Super Eagles side because of a lack of first-team action.

If Nigeria overcome Ethiopia he is going to need to be playing regular football to make the starting XI.

Bertrand Traore

The teenager can’t play for Chelsea yet because he doesn’t have an eligible work permit, but he was in the most recent Burkina Faso squad.

They face a tough second leg qualifier against Algeria to get to Brazil - but Traore is by no means a regular squad member.

Heading out on loan for the rest of the season could earn him a spot.

Michael Essien

We all thought that plenty of playing time was coming after Essien featured heavily for Mourinho at Real Madrid.

He rarely makes the squad for Chelsea, and he recently came out of international exile.

Another loan move seems a possibility.

image: © Erik Daniel Drost

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