Chelsea’s 2017-18 Loan Army soldier no.6, Todd Kane, is more of a seasoned veteran than a new recruit. The upcoming season will be his sixth as a Chelsea loanee, and he’ll be playing for FC Groningen in the Dutch Eredivisie.
Groby heeft even moeten wachten, maar... ✍️ pic.twitter.com/xftLtSjcfQ— FC Groningen (@fcgroningen) July 5, 2017
Kane’s Instagram post two days ago indicated in no uncertain terms that he would be heading out on loan once more, although the destination wasn’t specified. Putting two and two together in the light of a report from AD.nl that suggested he was going to sign for Groningen, it took minimal deduction to tell that an official announcement from the club would soon follow.
The 23-year-old has previously been on loan at Preston North End, Blackburn Rovers, Bristol City and Nottingham Forest and has shown that he’s comfortable stepping outside his own and his club’s normal pathways. In 2015-16, for example, he signed for NEC Nijmegen, who are bitter rivals of Chelsea’s unofficial affiliates, Vitesse Arnhem.
Earning a reputation as one of the hardest-tackling defenders in the Eredivisie that year, Kane did very well for himself and was even named vice-captain for the second half of the season. His interviews during the course of the season highlighted an interesting approach to the loan abroad. He didn’t want things to be easy or familiar and therefore didn’t want to join Vitesse, but their local rivals instead.
Kane had earned praise from Technical Director, Michael Emenalo himself towards the end of that season, and there was renewed hope that the defender would be at least look-in with the first-team.
An ill-time ACL tear took him out of contentions in the spring of last year however and set him back at least a year on the pitch as well. Now he rejoins his former NEC coach, Ernest Faber at Groningen to help him get back to where he was before the injury.
Kane will wear the number 2 shirt and as things stand, he’s most likely going to be Groningen’s first-choice right-back after two of their starting options last season left the club this summer. The first-team ship may have sailed for Kane, but he’s back on track, fit and raring to go which is great to see. He truly loves the club, and the club have done the right thing by not letting him go permanently just yet, off the back of a serious injury. Here’s hoping Toddy Kane has an even better season in the Eredivisie than he did with NEC!