Vitesse Arnhem have signed 19-year-old central midfielder Mukhtar Ali on loan from Chelsea until the end of the season.
News of a loan move for development squad midfielder Mukhtar Ali https://t.co/rfMjzNyiA1— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 29, 2017
Although perhaps not the most talked-about prospect in the academy, compared to the likes of Charlie Colkett or Lewis Baker, Ali is a talented youngster in his own right with plenty of ability to make it at the top level. Vitesse, mid-table in the Eredivisie is not a bad place at all for his first loan. He's even been assigned the number 8!
Ali will compete for a starting spot with the aforementioned Lewis Baker, the marvelously named Marvelous Nakamba, attacking midfielder Navarone Foor and perhaps even fellow Chelsea loanee Nathan, who has rediscovered himself in the number 10 role as of late. Baker, Nakamba and Nathan are currently the first-choice midfielders and Ali will help strengthen Vitesse's midfield depth, given the departure of Sheran Yeini to Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Although not the exactly same type of midfielder, he might also be looked at as an eventual successor to Lewis Baker, who has explicitly ruled out a third loan spell at Vitesse. For now, let's hope he has a productive half-season!