Chelsea Academy graduate Fankaty Dabo, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Swindon Town, has become the winner of this year’s Loanee Race to Vitesse, with the Eredivisie side confirming this morning that the 21-year-old will be spending the season on loan at Chelsea B.
Vitesse sporting director Mo Allach has the right back position earmarked for Dabo.
"With the departure of both Kevin Diks as Kelvin Leerdam, it was clear that something had to be done at the right back position. We have repeatedly seen Fankaty at work. By his way of playing, he aroused our interest. It's nice that Fankaty is close to the first team from the beginning of the preparation period. "
- Mo Allach, Vitesse Technical Director; source: Vitesse.nl
Dabo himself is looking forward to a good time at Vitesse, just like his fellow Chelsea Academy graduates Lewis Baker and Izzy Brown. Baker, especially, is the ultimate role model as far as embracing the loan model and making the most of his time at Vitesse goes.
"Lewis Baker and Izzy Brown talked about Vitesse. I look forward to getting to know the staff and players and to become integrated as quickly as possible in the group. I'm ready and I am hopeful for a good year.”
- Fankaty Dabo; source: Vitesse.nl
Dabo is an able center-back as well as right-back and has been at Chelsea since 2007. Although perhaps not the most heralded of Chelsea’s youth prospects, Dabo has always been a consistent performer, even captaining the youth teams on occasion. The closest he’s come to playing for the first team was in the 2015-16 season, when he was assigned a squad number ahead of a fixture against Swansea but ultimately did not make the matchday 18. His first foray into senior football was in League One with Swindon, where he was one of the better performers in a generally abysmal side, making 15 appearances (1,188 minutes) and even scoring once via an excellently executed long-range strike.
Hard working, strong, athletic full back (right or left), v. good defensively, good crosser, natural leader. Excited about this.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) June 25, 2017
Vitesse have lost a lot of players already this season, with the likes of Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Vako Qazaishvili and Marvelous Nakamba moving to FC Basel, San Jose Earthquakes and Club Brugge, respectively, loanees Lewis Baker, Kevin Diks, Adnane Tighadouini, Matt Miazga, Mukhtar Ali and Nathan all returning to their parent clubs (at least for now) and Kelvin Leerdam leaving upon the expiry of his contract. With a Europa League campaign ahead of them, they’ll need to reinforce heavily and with Dabo, they’ve acquired their third signing of the summer. Dabo, who has been assigned a squad number of 2, is currently the only senior right-back on their books and also where he will most likely be used. Like Lewis Baker, Dabo will make the step up from League One to the Eredivisie and hopefully do it just as well.