On what was one of the busier August transfer deadline days in recent years, Chelsea played their part, with one in and one out at first team level, but also with three young players departing on loan to continue their footballing development.
However, the headlines may be made by those who didn’t find new homes and instead remain at Stamford Bridge.
Beginning with those that did, and the widely expected departure of Ulises Dávila to Vitesse was confirmed early on Wednesday morning as the newly-arrived Mexican headed straight to the Eredivisie as first reported last week.
Later in the day two left-footed youngsters headed for the north-west as Patrick van Aanholt joined Wigan for the duration of the 2011-12 season, whilst Gael Kakuta will play for Bolton until the turn of the year.
Kakuta spent the second half of last season with Fulham but received little more than cameo roles from the substitutes bench, and is now looking forward to working under Owen Coyle and hopefully receiving the same boost in playing time and confidence as Daniel Sturridge did last season.
Van Aanholt, meanwhile, will embark upon his first real taste of top flight action, having had a handful of substitute appearances for Chelsea alongside three loan spells in the Championship with Newcastle, Coventry City and Leicester City.
Manager Roberto Martinez, clearly excited at the capture, told the official Wigan website:
“Patrick is a player with enormous potential. Technically he is very gifted, very comfortable in possession and physically, he uses his intensity to defend very effectively.
“He can play left back or left wing back position and without a doubt he’s got a phenomenal career ahead of him and I hope he can settle in Wigan really quickly and start enjoying his football as a Latics player.
“We rate Patrick really highly and his professionalism and his personal attributes will be a huge asset to us this season.
“Like Tom Cleverley last year, he is a young player who is hungry to learn his trade and I feel both parties can benefit hugely from the move. We are delighted to welcome him on board.”
In addition to the trio that did leave, a number of other Blues youngsters were linked with moves which failed to materialise. There had been talk of Wigan interest in Josh McEachran which was scotched by Andre Villas-Boas, whilst any interest in Romelu Lukaku was swiftly dismissed by Blues staff.
Ryan Bertrand, who signed a new long-term deal to remain with the club over the summer, was heavily linked with a return to Nottingham Forest, where he spent the first half of last season, but instead remains at Stamford Bridge and will be a member of Chelsea’s 25-man squad to be registered on Friday.
Had the club succeeded in their pursuit of Alvaro Perreira, Bertrand may well have been allowed to leave but instead will now provide cover for Ashley Cole.
Jacob Mellis, meanwhile, saw his name crop up in a possible deal with Reading, but with nothing confirmed, he will now have to wait until the Football League transfer window re-opens next week before he can head out on loan.
Instead of spending the entire campaign away though, players are only permitted to spend a maximum of 93 days at a club on what is classed as a ‘short-term’ loan. These deals can be extended, but with teams operating under quotas as to how many loanees they are allowed, it often creates problems and the likes of Mellis, Rhys Taylor and Conor Clifford may end up splitting 11-12 between as many as three clubs (including Chelsea).
Finally, to Matej Delac, who is now seemingly in a state of limbo after failing to secure a move last night. The Croatian stopper told Sportnet last night that it was decided that he will not go out on loan and instead remain at Cobham this season.
With his UK work permit status uncertain however, it remains to be seen if he can feature in Barclays Reserve League fixtures or be involved in first-team competition. If not, he will simply spend the next four months training until a move can be revisited in January.
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