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Chelsea prospect Stipe Perica recalled from NAC Breda, loaned out to Udinese instead

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

It would appear that the 19-year-old Croatian striker actually left NAC Breda almost 10 days ago* -- which we apparently missed -- but the Eredivisie side's technical director did mention that they were waiting for paperwork and other administrative things to complete.  Maybe it took that long for the bureaucracy to get their gears turning.  In any case, Perica has now traded up from the Dutch first division to the Italian top division.

The announcement on Udinese's official site confirms that this will be an 18-month loan, ending on June 30, 2016, which, incidentally would match the length of time he had spent playing for NAC Breda.

Perica signed with Chelsea in 2013, getting immediately loaned out to Holland since the UK work permit rules for Croatian nationals won't be relaxed until this coming summer.  Spending most of his time as a super sub, he scored 6 goals in just 4 starts (to go with over 20 substitute appearances).  It looked like he would take over as the club's first-choice striker this season, but the team struggled, the head coach ended up getting fired, and Perica wound up making just 10 appearances in the first half of the season, scoring three times.  The new head coach preferred to start others, and the young striker requested a move.

So now it's onto Udinese and the Serie A midtable.  While it's not readily apparent how Perica would have too many more opportunities against the established veterans leading the line for Andrea Stramaccioni, if nothing else, he would get to learn from one of the masters in Antonio Di Natale.  The length of the loan should also help Perica in establishing himself, and Udinese do often play with two strikers.

Good luck!

* There's an interesting footnote here, which intimates that Chelsea do put clauses regarding playing time into loan contracts.  NAC Breda would have had to pay a penalty to Chelsea if Perica failed to reach 20 appearances on the season.  With the striker requesting a move, this penalty was avoided, but it provides us with a bit of detailed insight into how Chelsea conduct the loan business.

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