Few clubs in world football have invested as heavily in young, exciting talent as much as Chelsea have during the past few years. A whole host of supposed future superstars have come through the doors at Stamford Bridge but a large proportion of them have been ushered back out swiftly, shipped to all four corners of Europe in a bid to gain experience.
The Blues have added to their sizeable youthful exuberance with the signing
Van Ginkel has reportedly been guaranteed a key role within the first team setup at Chelsea by manager Jose Mourinho , who persuaded the 20-year-old to put pen to paper and become his second addition to the squad – after Andre Schurrle – since re-joining the Blues this summer.
But not all seem to be convinced by Mourinho’s promises. Dutch giants Ajax were also in for van Ginkel and their sporting director, former Arsenal winger Marc Overmars, believes the Amsterdam-based could have been a better destination for him, as regular first team appearances would be a given .
Overmars’ concerns are understandable. With a World Cup on the horizon next summer, he’s also eager for his nation’s best players to be experiencing regular top flight football in this campaign. And while the likes of Kevin De Bruyne have continued to impress whilst out on loan, such uncertainty for van Ginkel would be far from ideal.
However Mourinho is quite clearly a great admirer of van Ginkel’s skills. With the Portuguese seeming set to utilise a 4-3-3 formation this season, he’s short of legs in central midfield. John Obi Mikel and Ramires are the only consistently reliable options, with Frank Lampard certain to be used sparingly and Michael Essien far from the player he once was in his prime.
Therefore van Ginkel is a mouth-watering option. A box-to-box midfielder, he can switch between being defensive or attack-minded and his high levels of stamina mean his game perfectly suits a three-man midfield. Indeed, during their excellent fourth-place finish in the Eredivisie last season, Vitesse employed a version of 4-3-3.
Long term, Mourinho will surely see van Ginkel as a successor to Lampard, who will enter the new season at the ripe old age of 35. With the England international’s body now needing to be more carefully managed, perhaps this is the opening in the first team that Mourinho pointed out to his new signing in persuading him to agree to a move.
Additionally, van Ginkel can pick few world class midfielders better and more experienced than Frank Lampard from who to improve and hone his own personal skills. With the right development and tutoring, van Ginkel could pick up the mantle from Lampard ahead of the 2014/15 season – a much better player after a year of learning from the Blues legend.