Lazio's Rough Diamonds
Chelsea did not indicate in their press release that Lazio could trigger a clause to make Kakuta's loan permanent.
However, according to GianlucaDiMarzio.com, Lazio do have an option to buy Kakuta for €3 million (£2.5 million).
If Sky Sport Italia journalist Di Marzio is right, Kakuta continues a trend in Lazio's transfer policy: Signing rough diamonds such as Keita Balde, Felipe Anderson, Brayan Perea and Ogenyi Onazi.
If I was the Spanish FA, I'd do my best to make sure that Keita Balde remains Spanish.— Gabriele Marcotti (@Marcotti) February 2, 2014
Keita is a jet-heeled 18-year-old Spanish wide forward formerly of Barcelona's La Masia academy.
Temperament could be an issue going forward after Football Italia reported that he was involved in a confrontation with Stefan Radu, a senior figure in the Lazio dressing room.
Anderson, a 20-year-old Brazilian forward, will be afforded more opportunities to impress in a post-Hernanes era.
With that said, Lazio manager Edy Reja does not believe Anderson is a like-for-like Hernanes replacement.
"Anderson could in theory replace Hernanes, though he's more of a second striker than a midfielder," Reja told Rai Sport (h/t FourFourTwo.com). "In my view [Anderson is] more adept at playing in wide areas."
So far, Anderson has yet to score or create a goal in Serie A.
Perea is a 20-year-old Colombian No. 9 who was described by BBC Sport South American correspondent Tim Vickery as a "rangy, dynamic striker."
Two assists against Trabzonspor in the UEFA Europa League and a brace against Parma in the Coppa Italia are examples of Perea's promise, but he has not scored a Serie A goal since last October.
Onazi, a 21-year-old Nigerian midfielder, was named in African football expert Ed Dove's 2013 African team of the year on Kickoff.com. "In a year of revelations for Nigerian football, defensive midfielder Ogenyi Onazi may just be the pick of the bunch," he writes.
That said, in three seasons at Lazio, Onazi has yet to start 30 or more league games in one campaign.
The aforementioned four diamonds in the rough have high upside, but each have flaws.
In this regard, Kakuta, who has been loaned out by Chelsea on five separate occasions, fits in perfectly at Lazio.
Will Kakuta Get Regular Starts?
Reja tends to start his team in a 3-4-2-1, so Kakuta will be aiming to seal one of the two attacking roles behind the centre-forward.
The difficulty rating is high because Kakuta, a left-sided player, will be in direct competition with Keita, Lazio's cash cow.
Reja is a fan of Keita and the club want the Spanish teenager to succeed.
"If he [Keita] remains humble, then he can become a great player," Reja told Football Italia.
This is going to be a roadblock for Kakuta, who not only needs to impress in training, but needs to hope either an injury or disciplinary problems flare up for Keita to get a run in the starting XI.
Well, what about the right-sided attacking role in the "2" of the 3-4-2-1?
Not an option, as Antonio Candreva—Lazio's most valuable player—starts in that role.
He leads the club in league goals (seven), assists (five), chances created per game (2.1), shots per game (3.2), dribbles per game (2.8) and crosses per game (2.2).
If you support Chelsea, you wonder what prompted Kakuta, who did not start one Eredivisie game on loan at Vitesse this season, to willingly accept a loan to Lazio in these circumstances.
Kakuta will probably be spending most of the season warming the Lazio bench watching Keita become a star—something Kakuta should have become by now.
"Go see the French lad, he is the star" - Ballack on Gael Kakuta in 2007— antonio (@ToyeCFC) July 12, 2010