Will Marco Van Ginkel Improve Chelsea's Squad Under Jose Mourinho?
Chelsea has recently begun a new era in transfer strategy as they look to snap up some of the world's most promising players, with an extensive scouting operation in place to ensure they don't miss out.
The close relationship between the clubs, whereby Chelsea send out their youngsters on loan to gain experience, has enabled the two parties to agree to a fee without any hitches, which is believed to be in the region of £8 million, according to The Guardian.
The move was announced on Thursday morning by the West London club, who said that van Ginkel will sign "subject to a medical, agreeing personal terms and completion of legal documentation" on their official website.
And whether the signing was made by Michael Emenalo or Jose Mourinho is not important. The crucial point is that Marco van Ginkel is poised to become a Chelsea player, which is a marvelous coup for the West Londoners.
After being thrown into the team as a 17-year-old when his club was struggling financially, van Ginkel took his chance and never looked back. His first senior goal came against Eredivisie giants Ajax in a 4-2 defeat whilst playing for Vitesse, and it was from there that the Dutch club knew their starlet would go on to become a great.
He has improved as the months went by at the club, becoming an important part of the team for Vitesse last season, and some even go as far as arguing his impact was more essential than the club's top scorer, Wilfried Bony.
Eight goals, along with eight created for his teammates, underlined his creative importance to the side as Vitesse surprised many by finishing fourth.
Ever since the 2010-11 season he has been a regular fixture in the side, making over 90 appearances. This highlights two positives in his character: the first being that he is consistent enough to deliver high standard performances on a regular basis. The other suggesting that he holds the desire to work hard to stay in the team.
Even though the foreign media were surprised, the Dutch certainly weren't when coach Louis van Gaal handed the 20-year-old his debut in the Dutch national team, despite the variety of playmakers in the Dutch squad.
The likes of Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart were overlooked in his favour, and at present, it would appear that Van Ginkel is one of the most likely to go to the World Cup in Brazil next year.
The move is a shrewd piece of business, and while inevitable comparisons will see van Ginkel hailed as the "next Frank Lampard", his game is unique to the extent that it's impossible to liken him to just one player.
Nicknamed “The baby-faced killer”, van Ginkel is a creative midfielder first and foremost. His vision is second to none, and the ability to execute short or long passes means he can slice a defence in half while operating in the hole as a playmaker.
At 6'0", van Ginkel is the ideal height for a central midfielder; not too tall so that his technical ability is affected but also strong enough to challenge for aerial duels.
Much like Lampard, the timing of his attacking runs are impeccable. However, the 20-year-old can be used in a more disciplined, Michael Ballack type role in the way that despite his lean frame, he is not one to withdraw from a tackle. Additionally, he maintains a great sense of positioning, dropping deeper in midfield to help teammates, but still having the energy and vision to be influential in attack.
The useful aspect for how he can be utilised under Jose Mourinho is that he is comfortable playing anywhere in the centre of the park. Remaining calm and composed while in possession is a key part of his game, and shows why Van Gaal in particular trusts him as his box-to-box midfielder for Holland.
His signing could be viewed as the missing piece of the midfield jigsaw, with Ramires more focused on the aerobic side of the game and John Obi Mikel representing the holding midfield role. Of course, Lampard operates in a similar role to the starlet but at 35, his time in football is coming to a close.
The youngster may not be an instant hit at the club, and the fans will have to be patient as van Ginkel makes the transition from Dutch to English football, although like many from the Netherlands, he has a impressive grasp of the English language.
Nevertheless, Chelsea have a player with bags of potential, and if Mourinho gives him time and trust, they could well have another Lampard in the making.
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