Chelsea have activated January clauses to recall two members of their enormous loan contingent, with academy products Kasey Palmer and Ike Ugbo each making premature returns to Stamford Bridge.
Both players have struggled to impress during the first half of the 2017-18 campaign, with midfielder Palmer restricted to just two starts and three substitute appearances across all competitions during a second successive season-long spell with newly-promoted Huddersfield Town.
A hamstring injury sustained while on duty with England during their 2019 European Under-21 Championship qualifier against Latvia in early September rather scuppered the former Charlton Athletic youngster's chances of establishing himself as a regular fixture in the Premier League.
Palmer scored five goals in 32 total outings during his time at Huddersfield and featured as a substitute during the nervy Championship play-off final victory over Reading in May that saw the club return to the top-flight of English football for the first time in 45 years.
Before that memorable afternoon at Wembley Stadium, an initial hamstring issue had kept him sidelined for four months.
"Kasey is a great character and we'd like to wish him all the best for the future as he returns to Chelsea," said Terriers head coach David Wagner, who recently completed the impressive capture of Netherlands defender Terence Kongolo on a loan deal from AS Monaco until the end of the season.
"He was a big part in our successful promotion to the Premier League, but the hamstring injury he suffered made it difficult for him this season. He has struggled to hit his best level since his return to training and that's why he hasn't been able to earn a position in the team."
Taking to social media, Palmer wrote: "Unfortunately my time at Huddersfield has come to an end. I would like to thank everyone involved at the club but most importantly the fans for their constant support throughout my time. The memories which I created here will stick with me forever.
"I wish the club all the best in the future. Looking forward to the next chapter in my career."
Also returning to west London from Yorkshire is striker Ugbo. The England Under-20 international and Toulon Tournament winner joined Barnsley on a season-long deal in July after firing 23 goals in just 35 matches for Chelsea's youth teams last term, but found the net just once for Paul Heckingbottom's Championship strugglers during the 3-0 home defeat of Sunderland in August.
Exactly half of his 18 appearances for the Tykes, for whom he was left as an unused substitute in the return fixture against Sunderland on New Year's Day, came from the bench.
In-form Chelsea, who visit Arsenal on Wednesday night (3 January), presumably intend to find new loan clubs for Palmer and Ugbo where they will be afforded more regular first-team opportunities, unless they are content for the pair to see out the remainder of the campaign back among their youth ranks.
The Blues recalled and retained the more established trio of Nathan Ake (Bournemouth), Kenedy (Watford) and Charly Musonda (Real Betis) from their respective loan stints at this time last year, though none registered much of an impact and the former was later sold on a permanent basis.
Manager Antonio Conte recently suggested that similar returns in this window for the likes of Crystal Palace's Ruben Loftus-Cheek were not realistic.