1. Fankaty Dabo
Starts: SC Heerenveen (70’, W, 0-4), PSV Eindhoven (90’, L, 2-4), PEC Zwolle (90, D, 0-0), Groningen (90’, L, 4-2), ADO Den Haag (90’, W, 2-0), Zulte Waregem (90’, D, 1-1), Zulte Waregem (90’, L, 0-2)
Bench: Lazio (9’, D, 1-1)
Fank Dabo has become a cult hero of sorts at Vitesse since his arrival on loan for the season. Although he’s been their first-choice right-back all season, he certainly required an adaptation period to step up to the Eredivisie, having previously played at Swindon Town, who were relegated from League One last season. Despite his mistakes so far, his cheerful personality and commitment to one hundred percent effort at the very least, have endeared him to Vitesse fans in certain sections.
Dabo assisted Bryan Linssen’s goal against Heerenveen with a dangerous cross that found the attacker at the far post.
He also scored a freak own goal in an (un)forgettable outing against Groningen, attempting a lobbed pass back to his own goalkeeper Jeroen Houwen who should’ve done much better in trying to keep it out of the goal.
2. Matt Miazga
Starts: Heerenveen (90’, W, 0-4), PSV Eindhoven (90’, L, 2-4), PEC Zwolle (90, D, 0-0), Groningen (90’, L, 4-2), ADO Den Haag (90’, W, 2-0), Zulte Waregem (90’, D, 1-1), Zulte Waregem (90’, L, 0-2), Lazio (90, D, 1-1)
Miazga has continued to be part of Vitesse’s first-choice center-back pairing alongside captain Guram Kashia. Despite the occasional error, Miazga has been consistently solid and his good form has finally been recognised on the International level as well, as he earned a much-deserved recall to the USMNT. Recently sacked USMNT manager Bruce Arena even claimed that Miazga probably would’ve been a starter for them at the World Cup, had they qualified.
Miazga scored the deadlock-breaking goal (at 5:50 in the video below) for Vitesse against ADO Den Haag on Sunday, heading in from a corner taken by none other than fellow Chelsea loanee Mason Mount.
3. Mason Mount
Starts: ADO Den Haag (90’, W, 2-0), Zulte Waregem (90’, D, 1-1), Zulte Waregem (90’, L, 0-2), Lazio (90’, D, 1-1)
Bench: Heerenveen (30’, W, 0-4), PSV (28’, L, 2-4), PEC Zwolle (54’, D, 0-0), Groningen (11’, L, 4-2)
Chelsea’s 18-year-old starlet has had to be patient, but by all accounts, including manager Henk Fraser, he has done nothing but keep his head down and give it all in training. Mount’s efforts have finally started paying dividend, as he began to rack up the appearances by the end of October. Appreciably long cameos against Heerenveen and PSV, against whom he scored his second goal of the season, were interspersed with starts in the Europa League against Zulte Waregem.
Mount’s goal against PSV was quite a sight. A floating cross from Fankaty Dabo found an onrushing Mount just inside the penalty area, and he executed a deft first-touch finish, lobbing the ball over Zoet.
Last week, Mount finally made his full debut for Vitesse in the Eredivisie while also making two starts in a row for the first time this season, having played a blinder against Lazio in the Europa League last Thursday.
Mount’s 8 chances created against Lazio was a record for any teenager in the Europa League, and it earned him a starting place against ADO Den Haag on Sunday, where his influence was minimal for the first 45 minutes as Vitesse simply failed to string simple passes together. But in the second half, Mount was involved in almost every attacking foray. He hit the upright with a free-kick, his cross for Luc Castaignos somehow ended up outside the back of the net and his volley from inside the area was denied by a spectacular save from the ADO Den Haag goalkeeper before his corner met the head of Matt Miazga, leading to Vitesse’s opening goal.
Mount is very much in the ascendancy and going to be hard to keep out of the starting XI at this rate. Long may it continue.
4. Charlie Colkett
One of the less heralded but just as talented Chelsea prospects, Charlie Colkett just hasn’t had the rub of the green this season. His last appearance for Vitesse was a 10-minute cameo against Zulte Waregem in the Europa League, on the 19th of October. He has simply been unable to get ahead of Thulani Serero, Navarone Foor and Thomas Bruns for a starting place in midfield and is now being overlooked for substitute appearances as well. One would imagine a January recall is in order.
5. Todd Kane
Starts: Sparta Rotterdam (90’, W, 2-1), Vitesse Arnhem (90’, W, 4-2), Feyenoord (73’, L, 0-2)
A series of niggling injures have prevented Todd Kane from playing continuous minutes for FC Groningen so far, but he’s been starting whenever fully fit.
6. Cristian Cuevas
Starts: Roda JC (90’, W, 3-0), Excelsior (90’, L, 1-0), PSV (90’, L, 4-3), Heerenveen (90’, L, 0-4), AZ Alkmaar (90’, L, 2-0)
After two seasons on loan at STVV in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League, Cuevas seems to have successfully made the step up to the Dutch Eredivisie, remaining a regular starter at left-back for FC Twente since the end of September.
7. Marco van Ginkel
Starts: Heracles (90’, W, 3-0), Vitesse (90’, W, 2-4), Twente (90’, W, 4-3), PEC Zwolle (90, W, 0-1), Excelsior (90’, W, 1-2), Volendam (90’, W, 2-0)
The PSV captain has led his team to a comfortable 8-point lead at the top of the Eredivisie table, scoring 7 goals in the process. In the fixtures listed above, he scored three goals - one against Twente, and another couple against Heracles.
8. Mario Pasalic
Starts: Spartak Nal'chik (90’, W, 5-2), Sevilla (57’, L, 2-1), Maribor (53’, D, 1-1)
Bench: Ufa (15’, W, 3-1), Krasnodar (23’, W, 1-4), Zenit (14’, W, 3-1), Sevilla (33’, W, 5-1)
After beginning the season as a regular starter, Pasalic has been relegated to a rotation role since early October, only completing a full 90 in a cup game and lasting less than 60 minutes in his two starts in the Champions League.
He scored his side’s third goal in a 5-2 win against Nal’chik in the cup last month, and added a late goal to put Spartak’s victory over Zenit beyond doubt on Monday. Both were typically from close vicinity of the goal.
9. Kenneth Omeruo
Starts: Antalyaspor (90’, L, 2-1), Göztepe (90’, W, 3-1), Bursaspor (90’, D, 2-2), Kardemir Karabükspor (90’, W, 0-2), Konyaspor (90’, W, 2-1)
Kenneth Omeruo has been first-choice center-back for Kasimpasa, just as he was in his previous spell at the Turkish Super Lig club. It does prompt the question as to why this is his third consecutive loan spell in Turkey but a safety net of regular minutes might help his case to make Nigeria’s World Cup squad.
Omeruo scored his first goal of the season against Konyaspor on Saturday, heading in from a free kick.
10. Victorien Angban
Starts: Zulte Waregem (70’, W, 2-5), Standard Liege (90’, L, 3-1), Mouscron (90’, W, 2-0), Club Brugge (90’, W, 3-0), Sporting Charleroi (90’, L, 0-2)
Bench: Kortrijk (44’, W, 2-1)
Victorien Angban’s failed loan spell at Granada last season prompted a return to his comfort zone this season, and thus followed a loan to Belgian Jupiler Pro League side Waasland-Beveren with a reported option to buy. Just as he was at STVV in 2015/16, he’s been a regular starter in midfield for the 9th-placed side and has already surpassed his minutes total at Granada despite having had to wait until September for his first start.
Despite making very few appearances for Granada, Angban did have a somewhat impressive outing against Real Madrid which showed just why Chelsea acquired him in the first place. It’s been well documented that all the players out on loan from Chelsea are well looked after by the club’s loan department, and receive video footage after each of their games. Angban still has his footage from the Real Madrid game and views it from time to time, posting some of it on his Instagram story. It’s all understandable, considering those were probably the most important minutes in his footballing career so far. So here’s a still from one of his stories, in which he’s watching himself make a crisp sliding tackle on.. Alvaro Morata!
This is victorien angban making a poetic tackle on Alvaro Morata. pic.twitter.com/RgTHlghfyd— Ram Srinivas (@rramesss) November 20, 2017
11. Josimar Quintero
Quintero is still yet to make his league debut for FC Rostov. He’s only played 23 minutes of football this season, and that was a substitute appearance in a cup games in September.
Nathan has only made one, nine-minute appearance so far for Amiens SC. That was in September, and since then he’s only been making the bench at a rate of once per month.
13. Danilo Pantic
Starts: Bačka Palanka (58’, W, 3-1), Zemun (57’, W, 1-3), Borac Čačak (90’, W, 1-2), Javor Ivanjica (90’, W, 0-2), Spartak Subotica (74’, D, 1-1), Young Boys (82’, W, 2-1)
Bench: Mačva Šabac (18’, W, 1-3), Skënderbeu Korçë (8’, W, 2-0)
After two years of playing practically no football, Danilo Pantic is finally getting regular minutes back at the club that sold him to Chelsea, Partizan Beograd. Partizan also have the option to buy him back, hence proving life comes full circle.
14. Joao Rodriguez
Wait, were you expecting to read something along the lines of ‘Joao Rodriguez is still a mythical being’, or ‘Joao Rodriguez is still just an unused substitute’? Prepare to be amazed.
Starts: Atlante (71’, W, 4-1), Cimarrones de Sonora (73’, W, 1-2), Murciélagos (90’, W, 3-2), Mineros de Zacatecas (78’, L, 1-0), Mineros de Zacatecas (71’, W, 3-1), Juarez (72’, 2-2), Juarez (90’, L, 3-2)
Bench: Cafetaleros de Tapachula (38’, W, 0-1)
That’s right. Joao Rodriguez is real, actually plays for Tampico Madero in the Mexican second division and has been scoring goals! Rodriguez scored 6 goals in 11 appearances (772 minutes) and spurred Tampico into the play-off semi-finals, where they unfortunately lost to Juarez over two legs.
Now, for your viewing pleasure, are all six of his goals.
All streambles are via @chelseayouth