The relationship between Chelsea and Vitesse Arnhem has taken considerable steps this summer, and shows no sign of slowing down as news emerged late Thursday evening of Lucas Piazon’s loan move to the Dutch club.
Piazon’s public relations manager, Fabiano De Souza, confirmed in a statement on his Twitter feed (@fabianodesouza) that the young Brazilian forward would be featuring in the Eredivisie during the forthcoming season:
“As part of his career development, Chelsea FC have decided to loan Lucas Piazon to the Dutch club Vitesse for the 2013-14 season, with no buyout fee in the contract. The same happened to players who are now a part of Chelsea’s first team squad, as Marko van Ginkel and Tomas Kalas also had a spell at the Dutch club to gain experience. This is a common process at the major European clubs and Lucas goes to Holland with the chance to play regularly and gain the experience required for his future career.”
As De Souza notes, the likes of Tomas Kalas, Patrick van Aanholt, Gael Kakuta, Slobodan Rajkovic and Nemanja Matic have all passed through the Gelredome in recent years as part of the deal struck due to a friendship between respective club owners Roman Abramovich and Merab Jordania. Van Ginkel came through the club’s own ranks to earn a big-money move to Stamford Bridge this summer, whilst Kakuta and Van Aanholt have returned for a second full season in Arnhem and were joined earlier this week by 18 year-old Cristian Cuevas; a left-sided player who moved from O’Higgins to Chelsea in early July.
Piazon’s arrival creates the potential of an all-Chelsea attacking midfield trio alongside Cuevas and Kakuta behind a lone forward, although Kakuta is currently sidelined with injury and there has been no prognosis as to the severity of his ailment. All three are versatile enough to contribute in multiple ways though, and Piazon could even lead the line if required.
The Dutch league is a proven breeding ground for young talent and has been an increasingly popular destination for the Blues to send budding young professionals in recent years. Miroslav Stoch was a title winner with FC Twente before making a big-money move to Fenerbahce back in 2010, whilst Kenneth Omeruo, Milan Lalkovic and even Joe Keenan back in the day have all plied their trade in the Netherlands.
Once again, it’s time to keep our eyes on Vitesse in the months ahead.