Sam Walker is a loanee no more. The young goalkeeper had seen any real chance of a permanent career with Chelsea evaporate with the emergence of Thibaut Courtois as one of Europe's elite, and it seemed like only a matter of time before he was picked up by another team. That makes his permanent transfer to Colchester United, which the Blues just announced on their official site, no surprise.
Colchester manager Joe Dunne had the following to say about the signing:
"I'm delighted that we've signed Sam for the next eighteen months. He is another young and hungry young footballer who has decided to come here and play, which is great testament to what we are doing here at Colchester United.
"He has done fantastically well for us over the past year but he is still improving and will get even better in the right environment for development. He will certainly have that here and he has a great support network, with our goalkeeper coach George Bankole and the other keepers he works with every day."
Walker was first sent to the U's a year ago and has made 48 appearances with the League One club, quickly establishing himself as the number one keeper at the club. The 22-year-old has signed an 18-month deal, so we might see him moving on quickly, but this in an environment in which he can continue his development comfortably and it's great that he's been doing well enough to secure a permanent job.
Good luck, Sam!