Marco van Ginkel 21 Midfielder Chelsea Netherlands
2013 has been…
Great but then rubbish. Allow us to explain...
Last season Marco van Ginkel really arrived. Having been nursed into first team action since his debut in 2010, last year he took things up a level. Eight league goals from midfield in the Eredivise, three more in the Europa League, ten assists in some outstanding performances, promotion to the full international side after some really good displays in the U21 team, and then he won the Johan Cruyff Award for being the outstanding young talent in Dutch football.
Predictably such talent brings a raft of interest but via the two club’s link-up there really was only one team in the running. Chelsea moved quickly to tie up a £9m deal in the summer, van Ginkel delighted to sign a five-year contract and both parties were quick to talk each other up. Jose made it clear he had a part to play immediately rather than warming a bench for the year and the player himself said he’d been given assurances about playing time and wanted to remain in the full international squad all the way to the World Cup.
So sunshine and lollipops all round, a great season ahead to look forward to. Just a few weeks in and after some promising cameos he started the League Cup game against Swindon and was looking to make a mark. Ten minutes in and an awful bend as he tried to make a tackle saw him stretchered off with a badly torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. After surgery he’s been ruled out for the season and the World Cup but recent reports suggest there’s a slim chance he may be back beforehand. If he is we hope it’s not too soon, a pre-season spent taking his time may be a far better bet.
Recovery and fitness first, time on the pitch and form next, world domination thereafter. While he may not go on to conquer earth we’re absolutely certain that if it wasn’t for the injury he would have plenty of Premier League time logged already and would be adjusting to the pressure of Chelsea’s midfield quite nicely.
He attracts comparison to Frank Lampard, something started by an interview with his old manager Peter Bosz, and there are definite parallels. Lampard is still one of the best goal-scoring midfielders in the business and van Ginkel would do well to spend some time looking at his team-mate’s impeccable sense of timing. They both have a similar body shape and running style, hopefully he can ape his new colleague’s work ethic and really hone his craft. To make a direct comparison van Ginkel is a far better player than Lampard was at the same age, if he can learn and develop as well as Frank has then given time he will be an outstanding midfielder.
So quite a prospect then and Chelsea know it. The club have made it clear there was never a chance of him going back to Vitesse to join his legion of team mates playing there on loan (Sam Hutchinson, Cristián Cuevas, Lucas Piazón, Christian Atsu, Gaël Kakuta and Patrick can Aanholt all there for the season), they believe he’s got a role to play now and he has already been seen in the Premier League, Champions League and League Cup before the injury. He’ll get back to full fitness and will continue to be slowly integrated into first-team matters, we wager that by the end of next season he’ll be a fixture. Keep an eye on van Ginkel, it’s tough to adjust to a new league in a new country but give him time and we think he could be running things in Chelsea’s midfield for many years to come.
“Very exiting, really good player to watch, goal-scoring midfielders are vital to teams playing at the very top tier of European football and Chelsea have got a player with the basic materials to go on and become one of the very best. Not only have they found the answer to what comes next after Lampard moves on, but Holland may have also have Kevin Strootman’s midfield partner for the next decade” – Dave Hartrick, IBWM
“The talented midfielder has been put to the test this year and every time he rose to the challenge. His injury only seems a temporary delay from his way to the top” – Michiel Jongsma, Benefoot
"In 2012/13, Marco van Ginkel was one of six players to score eight goals and provide eight assists in the Eredivisie." - Opta
C+ Could have been higher but for the injury, the new Frank Lampard has a chance to learn from the old one, we’re excited