Vitesse Arnhem, whom we jokingly like to call Chelsea B due to the player loan partnership that’s developed between the two clubs over the past decade, have just won the first major trophy in their history (two weeks shy of the club’s 125th birthday), beating AZ 2-0 in the final of the Dutch Cup (i.e. KNVB Beker).
With three Chelsea loanees in the starting lineup (Lewis Baker, Matt Miazga, Nathan) and one more on the bench (Mukhtar Ali), Vitesse got off to a sluggish start but slowly grew into the match and finished strong. Former €10m-man Ricky van Wolfsvinkel continued his revival with a late brace, scoring in the 81st and 88th minutes to hand Vitesse the trophy. Baker and Miazga both completed the full match while Nathan saw 73 minutes of action. While neither of them scored, they have all been instrumental in getting the team this far.
Vitesse, who are challenging for a Europa League play-off spot in the league, are now guaranteed a spot in the Europa League group stages next season, and should thus become an ever more attractive destination for the next group of Chelsea loanees.
Hopefully that won’t include Lewis Baker again, who’s clearly ready for bigger and better things. When our own Joe Tweeds visited with Baker over one fine spring weekend, the Chelsea loanee revealed that winning the Cup for Vitesse was his primary goal for this season. Mission accomplished.
So, well done to Baker, to Miazga and to the rest, and well done to Vitesse and coach Henk Fraser and his staff (including Andy Myers). Tremendous stuff!