Chelsea loanees set to feature for Vitesse in Eredivisie this season
By Nick Wright
Last Updated: 30/07/15 10:52pm
After seeing three Chelsea loanees in action for Vitesse against Southampton, we take a look at the Dutch club's connection to the Premier League champions.
Since Chelsea established a partnership with Vitesse back in 2010, a host of Blues players have moved on loan to the Eredivisie club for a taste of regular first team football.
Nemanja Matic, Tomas Kalas and Gael Kakuta are among the players to have made the switch in recent years - and there are four young Blues currently on the books at Vitesse, three of whom featured against Southampton in the Europa League third-round qualifying clash.
Teenage midfielder Pantic was sent on loan to Vitesse straight after joining Chelsea from Partizan Belgrade last week. The Blues paid a reported fee of £1.25m for the 18-year-old, who has captained Serbia at U19 level and featured in Partizan’s Europa League games against Tottenham, Asteras and Besiktas last season. "I am very happy to sign for Chelsea, the champions of the English Premier League, and I hope I can show my value at Vitesse in the coming season," he said. "I am honoured at the faith both clubs have shown in me."
Brown became the second youngest player in Premier League history when he came off the bench for West Brom against Wigan at the age of 16 years and 117 days in 2013. Chelsea agreed a deal for the talented young forward a few months later, and he made his Blues debut as a substitute against his former club in May. Brown excelled in Chelsea’s youth teams and made the step up to England’s U19s last season, and Jose Mourinho has said he will "blame himself" if the 18-year-old is not a full international within a few years’ time.
Brazil youth international Nathan signed for Chelsea from Atletico Paranaense in May and his loan move to Vitesse was announced at the same time as Brown's. Nathan is a creative attacking midfielder with an eye for goal who is highly regarded in his homeland. He broke into Atletico Paranaense’s first team around a year ago having scored five times for Brazil at the U17 World Cup in United Arab Emirates in 2013, and he has since made the step up to U20 level. After Lucas Piazon and Wallace, Nathan is the third Brazilian player to make the move from Chelsea to Vitesse in recent seasons.
Baker is another young English prospect Mourinho wants to develop into a full international. The 20-year-old's only senior appearance for the Blues came as a late substitute in an FA Cup tie against derby back in January 2014, but, like Brown, he has impressed at youth level for club and country. Baker's move to Vitesse is the third loan switch of his fledgling career. The midfielder had a spell at Sheffield Wednesday last season before moving to MK Dons, where he scored three goals in 12 appearances and helped Karl Robinson’s side win promotion to the Championship. Baker has featured prominently for Vitesse in pre-season and started against the Saints.