Patrick van Aanholt has confirmed his Chelsea career is "done" in comments made after the Blues agreed to sign Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid. Luis' signing was reported by the club's official Twitter account:
Van Aanholt highlighted his desire, as reported by Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard.
"Where will I play next season? I don’t know yet," said the 23-year-old. "It definitely won't be at Chelsea. I am done here."
Should Patrick van Aanholt be given a chance to star in Chelsea's first team?
The Dutch defender spent the 2013-14 season on loan at Vitesse Arnhem, a temporary switch that is seemingly becoming a rite of passage for the west London club's youngsters, as per BBC Sport. He posted a decent season as part of the club's sixth-place finish in the Eredivisie, where his four goals and three assists helped chalk up a healthy finish, as per WhoScored.com.
Although he isn't the most prolific crosser, having completed 0.3 successful attempts each match, Van Aanholt has proven himself to be a confident player. He is a strong dribbler, possesses a keen eye for quick passes and pulls his weight in defence. That said, at his age, it is certainly now or never for his Chelsea career to take off.
Luis brings world-class quality at the age of 28. The La Liga title winner, who also made it to the Champions League final with Atletico last season, possesses a multifaceted game that appears tailored to Chelsea's play.
The Brazilian is fast, confident in attack and flaunts a tenacity that will aid Eden Hazard's tendencies to track back intermittently, providing a useful replacement to the outgoing Ashley Cole. Janusz Michallik of ESPN FC believes the signing strengthens vital areas for the Premier League side:
Chelsea addressing all their needs in the transfer market so far superbly.— Janusz Michallik (@JanuszESPN) July 16, 2014
Cole's move to Roma, as reported by the The Guardian, may have given Van Aanholt hope. Although Mourinho is willing to utilise youth—the January signings of Mohamed Salah and Kurt Zouma highlight this—he prefers to deploy an experienced defence. Cole is the wrong side of 30 and has slowed slightly in recent times, but Luis' offensive threat remains at its peak.
Van Aanholt would be limited to Capital One Cup matches at best if Luis, Cesar Azpilicueta and Branislav Ivanovic stay fit. Ryan Bertrand also remains on Chelsea's books, although he is expected to complete a move away, as reported by Matt Law of The Telegraph.
There is certainly nothing for the player to be ashamed of when he eventually leaves the club. Chelsea's need to compete ensures plenty of emerging stars are likely to pass through the exit before hitting their peak—as we may see with Romelu Lukaku—but that doesn't place a question mark on the player's ability.
Loan spells with Coventry, Newcastle, Leicester, Wigan and Vitesse have aided Van Aanholt's progress since joining in 2009, but it's understandable to hear the Netherlands international's wishes to move on. He has the talent to offer genuine quality across Europe, but he doesn't quite fit the bill for Mourinho's title-chasers right now.