In a reference that seems appropriate after this morning’s Champions League Round of 16 draw, which paired Chelsea with Bayern Munich, Marco van Ginkel will.just.not.let.go ... of his football dreams. He’s taken all his licking, but he keeps on ticking. Well, at least working towards ticking.
“I usually am a very positive minded person. The people around me always supported me, as does Chelsea. I won’t give up easy, because I’m not a quitter. Of course, I had some very bad days, though.”
How bad has it gotten for the now 27-year-old midfielder, who arrived with so much promise way back in 2013 as Dutch football’s brightest young talent, but saw his Chelsea career brutally destroyed after just four appearances by an ACL injury? Countless surgeries (at one recent point 3 surgeries in 6 days!), setbacks, resets, re-dos later — it might be too scary to count them all — he’s still keeping his head up and focus firm.
“You get dispirited when you hear everything has to be done again. I needed a new surgery, but didn’t know when. My knee needed flushing out to get rid of that infection, so I had three surgeries in six days.
”That was quite an event, but infections like that could end your career. I wasn’t thinking about that, though. The flushing out helped me a lot, but I had to wait four to five months before I could get going again. That was a long time. I have gone through dark times.”
Van Ginkel’s contract is unfortunately up at the end of the season, though if previous cases of a similar nature are any indication (Sam Hutchinson, for example), Chelsea will surely extend the midfielder’s tenure so that he can figure out his next steps, wherever they may take him.
“You have to ask Lampard. Chelsea has an option to lengthen my contract for two years. I have to wait and see. My primary focus is to get fit again, and then we’ll see what happens.”
Having missed the past 18 months with this latest knee problem, wouldn’t it be wonderful if Wulfert Cornelius could suit up for Chelsea at least one more time? I’d like to see that very much.