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Todd Kane defends Michael Emenalo and Chelsea loan system, keeps hope alive for first-team chance

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I feel like every time I write about Todd Kane, I start with how he's (one of) my favorite prospects at Chelsea.  That's still true, so let's not break that trend.

One of my favorite prospects at Chelsea is right back Todd Kane, who's been a True Blue since before age 8, has won all sorts of things as a member and captain of various youth and reserves teams, got to celebrate our big European triumphs of recent seasons, and has worn out the dusty loan trail to all sorts of destinations around England and, recently, the Netherlands.  I've been convinced a few times that he'd get a shot at right back, but that's yet to materialize.

"I went away on a pre-season with Jose and that was a great experience. But I felt he had his own ideas and my chances were very limited. That was dispiriting. I've been at the club since I was about seven or eight, and if I'd been given my opportunity and not taken it, then I'd hold up my hands and say, ‘OK, I'll go somewhere else'."

So far, Kane's opportunities had been limited to loans, and while not all of them have gone swimmingly, he seems to be enjoying himself in the Eredivisie.

"But I've had some great loan spells."

"I was at Forest. Had a great run under [then-manager] Stuart Pearce, really making progress, and then he lost his job. Dougie Freedman came in and didn't fancy me. That's how it works sometimes."

"But I'm really enjoying it in Holland. I had a look round the place and loved it straight away. It's just what I needed. I'm living in the middle of nowhere, just focused on football -- training and working hard. It's a great test."

I love that Kane decided to not do the whole Vitesse thing, opting instead for local rivals NEC Nijmegen.  And I love his no nonsense attitude, especially on the pitch.  And I love that he's keeping the Chelsea dream alive despite the disappointments, while also recognizing just how much chance and being in the right place at the right time can play a part, too.

"I've been out on loan for four years and I think I've learnt a lot more from playing men's football than in the under-21s league. I'm near enough on the 100 mark of senior appearances. It's been very good for me and you have to be realistic and know that only one or two will get opportunities at a big club like Chelsea."

"It's the same at somewhere like Manchester United. Let's be honest, Marcus Rashford got his chance at United because, to a degree, it's fallen into place. He's a great player but you have to get a bit of luck."

So, perhaps this summer will be that lucky summer?

"But I'm hoping I will get a chance under the new manager at Chelsea this summer."

"Chelsea are good for the players out on loan. The technical director, Michael Emenalo, is a clever man, stays in regular contact and gives you a lot of encouragement."

"Cesar Azpilicueta is a terrific full-back, you can learn so much from him, as I've also done from Paulo Ferreira in the past. But maybe there's a second position up for grabs and I'm hoping to prove I'm ready."

[...]

"I've learnt so much from being at Chelsea. From working and training with top quality players, I still speak to people from the club all the time, get advice from players, the Chelsea set-up is fantastic and I've definitely got no regrets."

-Todd Kane; source: Mirror

He's still just 22 and signed a new three-year deal last summer.

I still believe.