Amongst the media furore about Carlo Ancelotti’s future, there has actually been stuff worth reporting on today.
Chelsea are considerably well stocked in the left-back department and today have made decisions on the short-term futures of two of their hopeful prospects.
First, in a move which has been rumoured for the past week, Ben Gordon is set to join Scunthorpe United until the end of the season, having spent the first half of the 2010-11 campaign at Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premier League.
The young Yorkshireman has been one of the revelations of the year so far north of the border, playing a huge part in Killie’s renaissance after a turgid time last season.
Displaying wonderful attacking instincts and endless energy whilst also developing in his own end, Ben has provided a handful of goals for Mixu Paatelainen’s side, and the Finn was desperate to keep him through until May.
However, Chelsea were apprehensive, as Gordon represented their first ever loan to the league, and as such they found it hard to evaluate his progress and current ability.
The player wanted to stay, but wary of his contract expiring in the summer, was eventually happy to fall in line with his club’s request to play in the English football league, where Blues brass can more easily gauge where he’s at.
His first professional experience came in April of 2010 when he headed to Tranmere Rovers for a month-long stay, but things didn’t go very well on the Wirral and he soon returned to finish the season back at base.
Step in Scunthorpe United. A club with a good recent history of working with young loan talent – including Chelsea’s own Jack Cork, who was Young Player of the Season at Glanford Park in 2008 – they have agreed to take Gordon on towards the end of the month, after a slight injury problem is addressed by Chelsea medical staff.
A bonus for Ben is that he has also agreed a new two and a half year deal to take him through to the summer of 2013, allowing him to get his head down and work his way through the ranks and make good on the potential shown when he was prized away from Leeds in 2007.
Elsewhere, England Under-21 international Ryan Bertrand looks set to finally receive his chance at the club, some five years after arriving from Gillingham.
Having spent time away at Bournemouth, Oldham, Norwich (twice), Reading, and this season Nottingham Forest, he has had to be patient, but in an interview with Chelsea TV aired this evening he revealed that he is to come home for the rest of this season.
It’s a positive move, and one which will allow Patrick van Aanholt to head out on loan – perhaps to the Bundesliga, where Koln and Hoffenheim have been purported suitors.
The Dutchman has proved popular amongst fans for his exciting cameo appearances so far and notched a first career goal against Newcastle in the Carling Cup earlier this season, but the plan has been to try and afford him more top flight football away from Stamford Bridge at some point.
Bertrand’s return allows for this to happen, whilst replacing him with a vastly experienced 21 year-old who has nothing left to prove outside the top flight. He models his game on Ashley Cole and should be able to provide relief for a player who has looked tired in recent weeks, and has spoken of feeling much older than his 29 years.
For both players, exciting times are ahead.