We've been hearing about this one for a while, but now, straight from the horses mouth:
Chelsea Football Club and Vitesse Arnhem have reached an agreement for the transfer of Marco van Ginkel.
The player will join Chelsea subject to a medical, agreement of personal terms and legal documentation.
Good news! The Dutch midfielder is an exciting young talent who boasts a wide range of attributes that should see him fit nicely into the squad as depth for the upcoming season. He's also got the potential to push on for starting honours, but could also be a candidate to go back on loan to Vitesse. However, that option seems unlikely although I'm sure we'll hear more in the coming deals as the transfer becomes official.*
*I'm not quite sure why it took so long for Chelsea and Vitesse to reach an agreement; I would've thought given the close relationship between the two clubs it might have just been a simple matter of a phone call. "You will bring over Gael Kakuta for us next time, won't you?" "Yep, provided you put that Justin Bieber look-a-like in the express post".
Right now, the two clubs have come to a halfway house with negotiations (probably around £8-10 million, judging by reports), and it's up to the player himself to seal the deal with a contract and a healthy body. Neither of those should be a problem, and soon we can probably expect another announcement.
If you need to refresh your memory, here's what I said when we first heard about a rumoured move:
Van Ginkel is a 20 year old Dutchman who has both featured for the U21 and senior squad at international level and features as a midfielder capable of playing both advanced and deep roles. Broadly speaking, Van Ginkel is a clever, technical player who is comfortable playing multiple midfield positions.
He's even been used in a largely unsuccessful experiment in a centre forward role, but I personally believe his best role is as a ‘second function' midfielder, which gives him more freedom to support attacks through forward runs. That, of course, makes him a good option in the pivot of Chelsea's preferred 4-2-3-1, or he can easily fill any of the three midfield spots in Mourinho's 4-3-3.
We all know what Van Ginkel can bring to the table, it'll now be interesting to see how that pans out in the context of Chelsea's current problems in midfield and how Mourinho goes about reshaping his squad in the rest of the window.
In the meantime, welcome to Chelsea, you not only have a cool name but you now get to hang out with some of the best footballers in the world and one of the best managers around. Happy times all round.