To round up the 2012-13 youth football season at Chelsea, we’re reviewing every single one of the Chelsea youngsters currently on the books who have spent time out on loan during the campaign. Here, we focus on Jhon Pírez.
Club: Leganés (Spain)
Appearances: 10 (2 goals)
The Jhon Pírez story took an unexpected turn this past season when it transpired that not only did he actually exist, but that he was actually fit enough to take part in football matches and even score goals.
The series of unusual events began very early in the season when Chelsea recognised his presence as one of their contracted players with a profile on the website some four years after he first signed. In that time he’d suffered a series of serious injuries and played a little bit for Defensor Sporting in his native Uruguay.
Fast forward to July 2012 and he was meant to be joining Ulises Dávila on loan at Spanish Second Division club Sabadell, but his old woes resurfaced and he failed a medical, which saw the move fall through.
A month later he joined Leganés, a small team based on the outskirts of Madrid playing one level below Sabadell in Spain’s third tier, more formally known as Segunda B. They took a chance on him, waited for him to get fit, and in early 2013 he repaid the faith with a run of appearances and a first goal for the promotion chasers.
In early June, Lega found themselves in the promotion playoff hunt and were handed a tough match-up against Lleida. Facing a 2-1 deficit from the first leg, super-sub Pírez came off the bench to score the most crucial goal of his young career to date, nodding home with minutes to go to seemingly put his team into the next round. Unfortunately, a Lleida goal deep into stoppage time ended that dream and indeed, his season.
Quite frankly, who knows? At 20 he’s extremely unlikely to ever have a career with Chelsea, and there’s no real clarity on his contract situation, but it would be a surprise all round if he was still the club’s property beyond this summer. Hopefully, he can at least get to a point where he’s fit enough to play for somebody on a regular basis.