Of the one thousand and one Chelsea players currently out on loan, the case of Marco van Ginkel is certainly among the most interest. The 6ft 1in midfielder signed for the Blues way back in 2013 for a fee of £8m from Vitesse. Despite barely touching a ball at Stamford Bridge during the intervening years, the Dutchman has twice agreed to extend his stay in the capital. As his 25th birthday approaches, however, it’s approaching a case of ‘now or never’. Will his current loan spell at PSV finally encourage Chelsea to give him a chance?
Van Ginkel has done well at PSV, helping the Eindhoven club win the Eredivisie in 2015-16 with individual performances that fired him back into the Netherlands national side. Moreover, a positive start to the current campaign in which he has continued to show growing maturity in both the attacking and defensive duties has certainly gained plaudits. Frankly, there is no doubt that he is a better player than the one that first arrived at the Philips Stadion.
Those thoughts are echoed by Onlinewedden.com, who have picked him out as one of the current stars in the Eredivisie and suggest he’d now be more than capable of playing a key role at a mid-table Premier League club – something that didn’t quite go to plan during a loan spell at Stoke City in the first half of 2015-16. Van Ginkel is now physically stronger, more composed, and marshals the midfield with a far greater understanding of the game.
Nonetheless, there are two main questions to be asked of the Dutchman as he approaches what should be his peak playing years. Firstly, there are uncertainties about his ability to fit into Antonio Conte’s current system. Van Ginkel currently occupies one of three midfield berths in a 4-3-3 system at PSV. Frankly, it’s difficult to see how that would translate into Chelsea’s current plans.
Doubts over his quality are perhaps even more salient. While he is starting to look like a Premier League player, Chelsea aren’t an ‘only ran’. Conte is looking to build a team capable of domestic dominance and European competitiveness. Many would argue that it’s a little harsh to rule Van Ginkel out before giving him a fair crack of the whip. Unfortunately, though, the omens are far from positive.
Under Jose Mourinho, the Dutchman was praised for having potentially similar qualities to Frank Lampard. While comparisons in style may not be too wide of the mark, there are some clear differences – the main one being quality. It’s hard to envisage any situation in which Van Ginkel could inspire the Blues midfield let alone notch 20+ goals per season.
Has Van Ginkel fallen victim to the many injuries documented by Transfermarkt.com? Quite possibly. Either way, in spite of some positive displays at PSV, particularly during the early stages of 2017-18, it’s hard to see how the Dutchman will ever force his way into the first team fold at Stamford Bridge. Even if others like Victor Moses have successfully resurrected their Chelsea careers in recent times.
With a contract that doesn’t expire until 2020, there’s a good chance that Chelsea can fetch upwards of £10m for the midfielder next summer. That might be the best solution for everyone.