Every so often, football misses the chance of seeing a new great talent emerge due to injury issues. One such case is Chelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel, who was once named the best young player in the Eredivisie, which earned him a move to Stamford Bridge, where he was hyped up and given his debut by none other than José Mourinho in 2013.
Alas, just one month and four appearances later, on his second start for the Blues, Van Ginkel tore his ACL. He’s spent the rest of the decade since battling a series of knee injuries, punctuated by a couple seasons of success on loan back in the Netherlands, at PSV.
The latest knee injury, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic has sidelined the now 27-year-old midfielder for the last two years. But Marco hasn’t given up, and apparently neither have Chelsea. If nothing else than as a token gesture of appreciation for his perseverance, Chelsea have offered a new contract to the midfielder. His current deal is set to expire at the end of the month.
“I am very happy with that sign of confidence from Chelsea. It is no small thing that a club tries to keep you in such an uncertain time after such a long injury period. Apparently they still see something in me, although we still have to figure it out.”
Van Ginkel may on the path to recovery, again, but he’s not been training with the first-team. Eindhovens Dagblad’s report seems to hint at a potential loan again, perhaps back to PSV, where he’s still highly appreciated after captaining the team to their last league title in 2017-18.
The contract from Chelsea could thus be as much a business decision as a football decision, in order to ensure some sort of transfer fee in the future. It’s not clear how many years Chelsea are offering to Marco.
“It is really not only about my contract or future plans, but also about exchanging experiences. There is reciprocal human interest and I really appreciate that.
“I follow my previous clubs well. No matter what happens, I will always feel at home at PSV.”
-Marco van Ginkel; source: Eindhovens Dagblad via Google Translate
One can only hope that Marco has finally put his knee problems behind him. If he has, he may yet be able to carve out a nice career for himself, though probably not at Chelsea.
Still, just seeing Marco back on the pitch would be a win at this point.