Chelsea have sent an umpteen number of players on loan to Vitesse since the 2010-11 season, which marked the beginning of their unofficial affiliation. In the summer of 2013, Chelsea even bought Marco van Ginkel from Vitesse but there has never been a transaction involving a player moving in the opposite direction on a permanent deal. Or that was the case until today, when Chelsea Academy graduate midfielder Mukhtar Ali signed a 3-year-contract with Vitesse. It’s unclear how much (if any) money changed hands between the clubs themselves during the transaction.
Good luck to Mukhtar Ali who has today completed a permanent transfer to Vitesse Arnhem... https://t.co/RZZf6QqGs5— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 17, 2017
Ali, who turns 20 in October, spent the second half of last season on loan at Vitesse. Despite the fact that he made only six substitute appearances that amounted to just 67 minutes of playing time, Vitesse have decided to sign him permanently after assessing him closely last season. Although not British, Ali has joined fellow Premier League academy graduates/players like Arsenal’s Dan Crowley, Chris Willock and Kaylen Hinds in seeking permanent moves abroad.
Ali expressed his delight at being able to return to Vitesse, and the club’s Technical Director, Mo Allach, spoke about his assessment of the youngster.
"I am delighted to return to Vitesse and can not wait to start. How everyone in and around the club took to me last year was a big part of my decision to return. It is also very nice that I'm going to play together with Fankaty Dabo and Charlie Colkett, with whom I have played a lot together in the youth of Chelsea.”
- Mukhtar Ali; source: Vitesse.nl
"Mukhtar knows the club and the way we now play. He is multifunctional in midfield. The next season he can develop and prove to be a valuable player for Vitesse.”
- Mo Allach; source: Vitesse.nl
Although a three-year-deal may seem low for a 19-year-old, it is an excellent opportunity for Ali to burst onto the scene in senior football in a league where there’s room for youngsters to develop, and hopefully play in the Europa League as well. Good luck to him!