Marco van Ginkel has agreed to swap Chelsea for AC Milan on deadline day, a decision that should see the youngster improve his chances of first team football.
The deal was confirmed by Milan via their official Instagram and Twitter accounts:
Chelsea later confirmed the loan deal via the club's Twitter account:
Van Ginkel spoke of his delight at the switch, via Milan's official website:
I am very happy. Milan is a great club where many Dutch players have played and some big names. I know Nigel De Jong from my experiences with the National team, I spoke to him about Milan and he said excellent things about the club. I will see him soon. I am a midfielder that defends but I also know how to score goals. I play all across the park. I want to become an important member of the squad, I am a team player and I want to meet the coach.
Like I said before, I am happy to be here. I want to get game time and I think that I will have the chance to play at Milan in a great league against strong sides. This is the objective for the season. I haven’t as yet spoken to coach Inzaghi but I have spoken to Fernando Torres this week. He’s a good lad.
Van Ginkel's development has slowed since moving to Stamford Bridge in 2013, where he suffered a long-term injury which ended his chances of being involved during Jose Mourinho's returning campaign. Time spent away from the starting picture—whether it's via injury or poor form—can be extremely difficult to overcome at a club like Chelsea, where competition is fierce.
Will Marco van Ginkel be a key player for AC Milan this season?
Despite making a full recovery and performing well during pre-season, Van Ginkel has been deemed surplus to requirements for the 2014-15 campaign. Mourinho has invested heavily in midfield additions over the past two transfer windows—with Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas joining the club—meaning it is in the best interests of all for Van Ginkel to continue his development elsewhere.
The midfielder can slot into central midfield, further forward or in a deep-lying role if needed. He is well-equipped for both the physical battle and technical side of the game, meaning he can easily be deployed in Filippo Inzaghi's preferred 4-3-3 formation. Alongside fellow Dutchman Nigel de Jong, Van Ginkel will be given the space and cover to let his creativity shine.
Inzaghi highlighted the importance of the signing, quoted by Gianluca Di Marzio via Enrico Passarella:
He’s a box-to-box midfielder, he has strong desire to do well. In that role we ask for great motor and will. It would be easier to distribute the players in that position if I had more of them.
Similar to Kevin De Bruyne, all he needs is one successful season on loan before other European clubs seriously consider a transfer.
Van Ginkel proved himself to have great potential at Vitesse, but many doubters will use the Eredivisie's lack of quality to detract from his ability. A run of excellent form in Italy may see interest grow, while Van Ginkel could also play himself into Mourinho's plans with a profitable spell at the San Siro.
Rob Jansen, Van Ginkel's agent, indicated his client "wants to fight for his chance" at Chelsea, but also "there must be some perspective," per AD.nl (translated via 101 Great Goals). At 21 years old he needs to be challenging the best on a regular basis.
The player is certainly hungry to impress, and his capabilities indicate a bright future awaits, but Mourinho isn't the greatest purveyor of youth when hunting silverware.
Milan have landed themselves an exciting prospect. Although Inzaghi may be disappointed to acknowledge he doesn't receive first dibs on Van Ginkel at the end of the season, the player's energy and creative spark can add plenty to a Milan midfield which tends to cruise through games.
This is a massive opportunity for Van Ginkel, who can overcome the disappointing memories of the last campaign by highlighting his full array of attributes on the continent.