Chelsea have defended their loan relationship with Eredivisie club Vitesse Arnhem after criticism from other clubs.

  • By Michael Bell
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piazon cDuring the summer, Vitesse loaned six players from Chelsea, with Christian Atsu, Patrick van Aanholt, Gael Kakuta, Lucas Piazon, Cristian Cuevas, and Sam Hutchinson all joining the Eredivisie club.

This loan relationship drew criticism from fellow Dutch side NEC Nijmegen, with director Mark Hagen telling the Mirror, “This is a new ­situation for us in Dutch football and it is worthy of discussion. It is six players on loan from Chelsea at Vitesse, but if this trend continues it could be nine or 10.”

However Chelsea have now issued a statement defending their actions, and state that Vitesse have no priority over their youngsters, and other clubs can offer to loan them.

Chelsea director Michael Emenalo told the Chelsea official site, ‘We think this is the best way to go,”

“We identified that for young players, the ages of 18 to 21 is the most difficult time as they wonder if they are good enough for the Chelsea first team and what is next for them.

‘When they only play in the Reserves/Under-21s from 18 to 20 you don’t get them to ascend to the level where they are ready to come into the first team and do a job properly.

‘We felt it is better for them at that age to go on loan to somewhere where they get visibility and good competition.

‘For psychological and physical reasons that is the best thing to do at that age. If tomorrow a Championship team in England wants the same kind of relationship with us it is no problem, Vitesse has no exclusivity.”

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