This year, the Chelsea-Vitesse loan arrangement has seen five promising youngsters head to the Netherlands so they could find proper first-team action, playing against professionals of the Dutch league. Despite recent struggles, the arrangement has been beneficial to Vitesse as well, and accordingly, they are looking to keep our current loanees for at least another season.
"We are now discussing this with Chelsea. It's been with us for quite some time this topic of conversation. These are guys who are still at a young age and with us get experience. It would be better for the players and for Vitesse if we can keep the players. That is our goal."
Out of the five loanees at the Gelredome this season, midfielder Lewis Baker and striker Dominic Solanke have had the most success, with 20 and 19 appearances in the Eredivisie, respectively. Attacking midfielder Isaiah Brown, having battled a few injuries earlier, also got to play significant minutes as of late, starting in the last 6 league matches.
Meanwhile, midfielder Danilo Pantic and attacking midfielder Nathan haven't had as much luck, with the former being demoted to Vitesse's U19/Reserves team and the latter missing a long period of time from November to January due to injury. Nathan returned to the pitch on January 30th, subbing in for Solanke at 60th minute against Excelsior.
Another year at Vitesse for these young players could certainly be useful, especially if Chelsea (still) don't see them fit to take significant part in our first-team next season. This would also avoid having to adapt to a new country with new customs and culture that most of our 'loan army' recruits have to endure frequently.
The stability and assurance that stems from a two-year long loan spell has certainly helped Andreas Christensen this season, has helped Thibaut Courtois tremendously in the past, and it might help some of these other prospects, too.