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Mario Pasalic confirms La Liga loan

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Denis Doyle

As expected from the beginning thanks to UK work permit rules for Croatian nationals, 19-year-old Mario Pašalić is heading out on loan pretty much immediately after signing from Hajduk Split.  Also as expected from the beginning, the loan destination will be Elche, who finished towards the bottom of La Liga last season.

Earlier we had the Elche president claiming that they've reached an agreement with Chelsea, and now here's Mario himself confirming the loan.

"As I went to say goodbye to my manager Jose Mourinho, he told me that I'm on the best way to one day return to Chelsea. He also told me that I must do my best on loan in Spain because he will keep track of all my games. Director of sport Michael Emenalo also told me that he and Mourinho will come to see me in Spain. I like this option from Elche... I always dreamed that I would play in La Liga once."

-Mario Pašalić, source: 24sata via Sky

Goodbyes and good vibes all around.

Untranslated by Sky, Pašalić also talks about what training for a week with Mourinho was like and claims that even just this one week has helped his confidence.

"Mourinho is the ultimate connoisseur and tactician, sees and understands everything."

"[...] Training sessions are challenging... It's a lot with the ball, similar to Hajduk, but with much, much stronger intensity. And there is no discount for anyone of us who have been on the tests to the legend of the club, they all work the same - reveals Pasalic."

-Mario Pašalić, source: 24sata via Google Translate

I suppose that's nothing new that we haven't heard before.  It's the Mourinho way.

And what about Frank Lampard, his idol, whom he missed by just a matter of days and weeks?

"They gave me a jersey with my name, but it does not matter, I got at home [Lampard's already]."

-Mario Pašalić, source: 24sata via Google Translate

Aww.

Mario Pašalić may not be the most talked about prospect in the Chelsea system, but he's certainly up there in terms of most promising.  We'd do well to keep an eye on him as his Spanish adventure unfolds.