Plenty of teams loan out players so that they can gain first team experience. This is often a way for younger players to develop when they have that certain something, but aren’t quite at the level required to make first team appearances. While most teams will loan out their players to a host of different clubs, in recent years Chelsea has been using Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem as a farm system for a good amount of their loanees.
This season the Blues have loaned out six players to Vitesse and three of those players have made appearances in 7+ matches this term with two of those players being regular starters. With the departure of Wilfried Bony to Swansea and Marco Van Ginkel to Chelsea, it looked like last years fourth place team would struggle a bit, but 13 games into the season, they’re atop the table by a point and Chelsea’s loanees have been instrumental in their form. Four of the six players that Chelsea has loaned to Vitesse are under the age of 23, and among those young talents are some players who have garnered plenty of attention in their own right before being purchased by Chelsea and shipped out to the Eredivisie. These young players are a great fit for an exciting Vitesse team that only has three players on the roster older than 26.
Among those players is the 19-year-old Brazilian Lucas Piazón, who has drawn comparisons with 2007’s Ballon d’Or winner Kaká. Since his days at São Paulo, the young Brazilian winger has gained critical acclaim for his passing ability, shooting, finishing, vision and flair. Though Piazón does not see the resemblance between he and Kaká, their similarities do extend beyond their physical appearance and the fact that they both played for São Paulo. Like Kaká, Piazón has excellent vision and fantastic technique and finesse. He plays in a more advanced role than Kaká and can sit behind the striker or act as a second striker where he is able to make short and quick passes rather than holding onto the ball. While he has the technique and elegance of a Brazilian player, he employs a rather direct style of football, which likens him to that of a false 9. So far this term he has started 11 of 13 matches, scored 5 goals, recorded 4 assists, dribbled past 2 opponents on average per match and has averaged 3 key passes per game. With the prolific Wilfried Bony and creative Van Ginkel gone, it has been Piazón at the forefront of Vitesse’s attack. He is leading his team in goals and assists and is surely making Mourinho and other managers take notice of what has been an excellent loan spell thus far.
Patrick van Aanholt has also made 11 appearances for Vitesse this term and the 23-year-old Dutch left back seems to have finally found a home after Chelsea loaned him out to four different teams before settling on Vitesse. At 175cm, the quick left back operates as more of a wingback, but has been quite solid in defense. While he certainly wont find a place to start at Chelsea because of Ashley Cole and Ryan Bertrand, he may opt for a permanent move to Vitesse where he can play in his native Holland. The young Dutchman is a smart defender, who passes very well, likes to dribble and holds onto the ball extremely well. He’s scored a goal and recorded an assist and averages the second most tackles on the team at 2.4 per match. He is completing 84% of his passes and winning 68% of his duels while creating a chance per game. He’s been quietly lifting his side from the back and could even be played as a defensive midfielder. While the chances of him finding first team football at Chelsea are quite slim, it certainly doesn’t hurt his stock to be playing as well as he has been and his form could prompt interest from other clubs.