Leaving a club of Chelsea's stature, even temporarily, is a bold step in a young player's career and can be a make or break decision. But for two of #England's squad to face Germany and Brazil this week it has been a springboard to full international recognition.
Tammy #Abraham, 20, and Ruben #Loftus-Cheek, 21, both sought the regular first-team football they were unlikely to get at Stamford Bridge and embarked on loans to Premier League sides Swansea City and Crystal Palace, respectively. Within three months, the moves have paid off spectacularly as both have been called up to Gareth Southgate's senior England squad for the first time.
For Loftus-Cheek, in particular, this has been a breakthrough start to the season. Having seemingly broken into the Chelsea side in their disastrous 2015-16 campaign, with 17 appearances across all competitions, his career regressed during the following season under Antonio Conte when he regularly occupied space on the substitute's bench.
The move to Crystal Palace has been beneficial to such an extent that the Lewisham-born youngster has already made more Premier League appearances for the Eagles than in the entire previous campaign for Chelsea. In the early-season absence of Wilfried Zaha, Loftus-Cheek was Palace's stand-out attacking player in an admittedly dismal side. Although England's injury crisis has aided his rise to the senior set-up, Loftus-Cheek has been so impressive that he is widely expected to start Friday's friendly against Germany.
Abraham's rapid rise
Abraham, too, is enjoying his maiden call-up to the senior side, a reward for a promising debut season in the top-flight that has so far brought four goals in a low-scoring Swansea side. More than 20 months' Loftus-Cheek's junior, Abraham has had a smoother transition to the national team and has long been earmarked as a potential star. The youngster has already scored 12 goals for England at various age-group levels and first came to the public attention last season as he struck 26 goals on loan at Championship side Bristol City. He is highly regarded within the Chelsea hierarchy, who believe that this spell at Swansea will be a catalyst to push for a starting place at Stamford Bridge at the start of the 2018-19 season.
Both Abraham and Loftus-Cheek came through the ranks at Chelsea, and their rapid rises this season are further evidence of what can be achieved when young players take hold of their own careers and make the bold decisions. Their call-ups are just rewarded, and will, doubtless, be the first of many.